Epstein-Barr virus: "kissing sickness" can last for weeks

Epstein-Barr virus:

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After glandular fever, you should take care of yourself for a long time

Pfeiffer's glandular fever is a common virus disease that is triggered by the Epstein-Barr virus. Most adults carry the virus, but the outbreak does not always occur. Fortunately, because those affected often lie flat for weeks.

Many people are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus at a young age - but it doesn't always turn into glandular fever. Pfeiffer's glandular fever is one of the more persistent diseases: the symptoms usually last for several weeks.

Mostly affected young people

And even if the fever and sore throat have disappeared, those affected should take care of themselves for a long time. This is indicated by the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ). The disease, also called mononucleosis, mainly affects adolescents and young adults.

Be gentle even after glandular fever

Why is the additional protection so important? Because the symptoms of mononucleosis include enlargement of the spleen. As a result, the organ is particularly at risk of injury - bumps in the abdomen or chest can quickly cause a splenic tear or rupture, for example during exercise. The BVKJ therefore advises young people to stop exercising for at least three weeks after the illness has ended. Above all, contact sports and weight lifting are dangerous.

Infection often occurs when kissing

The Epstein-Barr virus responsible for mononucleosis is often transmitted through saliva when kissed. Therefore, the disease also bears nicknames such as kiss disease or student fever. Other ways of infection include shared cutlery or blood and other body fluids. According to the information, around 95 percent of all Europeans were infected with the virus up to the age of 30 - but the disease does not break out in everyone. (vb; source dpa / tmn)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ): Pfeiffer glandular fever (accessed: 22.01.2020),

Video: Η λοιμώδης μονοπυρήνωση του ιού Epstein Barr (November 2022).