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August 19, 1968

Infectious Mononucleosis With Epstein-Barr Virus Antibodies in Older Ages

Author Affiliations

East Northport, NY

JAMA. 1968;205(8):595. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140340065021

To the Editor:  Infectious mononucleosis is relatively common among adolescents and young adults. In older age groups it is rarely thought of, and not often documented. The recent work of Henle et al1 suggests that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a herpeslike virus, is either the etiologic agent or one which is antigenically closely related to it.This letter presents a case of infectious mononucleosis with EBV antibodies to call attention to the possible unsuspected incidence of the disease among older patients.

Report of a Case:—  A 52-year-old female secretary was seen in consultation because of fatigue, anorexia, and dyspnea on exertion. Two weeks prior to the onset of symptoms the patient had experienced a brief episode of rhinorrhea associated with a mild shaking chill. All physical findings were within normal limits. There was no pharyngitis, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, or fever. Hematologic studies revealed a white blood cell count (WBC) of