Viral Infections

What are complications of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)?

A Answers (1)

  • Ruptured spleen: Many patients with mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) develop an enlarged spleen. In extreme cases, the spleen may rupture. This is most likely to happen if the person participates in rigorous physical activities while he/she is sick. Patients who rupture their spleens typically experience a sharp and sudden pain in the upper-left side of the abdomen. If this type of pain develops, patients should be taken to the nearest hospital immediately. A ruptured spleen generally requires surgery.

    Nerve problems: Complications of the nervous system are rare, but may include nerve damage, seizures, behavioral changes, inflammation of the brain (called encephalitis), and inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (called meningitis).

    Blocked airways: In rare cases, the lymph nodes in the neck may become extremely large and block the airways. This may make it difficult for the patient to breathe.

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What are complications of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)?