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EBV is a DNA virus in the family Herpesviridae that infects >90% of persons by adulthood.
- Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a disease of young adults and is more common in areas with higher standards of hygiene; infection occurs at a younger age in areas with deficient standards of hygiene.
- EBV is spread by contact with oral secretions (e.g., by transfer of saliva during kissing) and is shed in oropharyngeal secretions by >90% of asymptomatic seropositive individuals.