Mercy's Dr. Susan Besser, Family Medicine, Discusses The Epstein-Barr Virus and Mononucleosis

May 29, 2018
Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea - Overlea, MD

When you're sick, you may rarely think about what kind of virus you have. They're not all alike, even though they may have similar symptoms.

But now, researchers are paying close attention to the Epstein-Barr virus, which is the cause of mononucleosis.

According to Dr. Susan Besser,  a Primary Care Provider specializing in Family Medicine with Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea, the virus can last several weeks, and in some cases, even months.

One of the symptoms is overwhelming fatigue. Researchers are now studying whether the virus increases the risk for developing autoimmune diseases later on.

"This is very early research. We are nowhere near clinical stuff yet, but it's fascinating to see how a virus can cause changes in the body to cause immune issues down the road later," Dr. Besser said.

The Epstein-Barr virus is contracted through bodily fluids. It remains latent in the body for life.

View Dr. Susan Besser’s interview regarding the Epstein-Barr virus and mononucleosis.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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