Because Epstein-Barr is a virus and, therefore, doesn't respond to antibiotics, home rest with sufficient hydration and over-the-counter pain relievers to treat fever and aches are the recommended protocols, states WebMD. Sucking on throat lozenges, gargling with warm salt water and eating frozen desserts are helpful for easing throat pain.
Cases of mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, typically resolve without treatment within four weeks, but the fatigue may last for months, according to WebMD. As of April 2015, no vaccine exists to prevent an EBV infection, and it's possible for an individual with no symptoms to spread the virus for weeks during their first infected episode, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. EBV is a member of the herpes virus family and is also known as human herpesvirus 4.
EBV is spread primarily through contact with saliva from an infected person, either through kissing or sharing utensils, drinking glasses or toothbrushes, explains WebMD. Mononucleosis is sometimes contracted through blood transfusions, organ transplants and sex. The symptoms can take as long as seven weeks to manifest and include sore throat, swollen neck glands, fever, fatigue, and muscle pain and weakness. A rash and lack of appetite are also common. Symptoms in children are often mild, while teenagers usually display more severe symptoms. Many people carry the EBV virus and never develop symptoms.