What sort of exposure would be necessary or sufficient for someone to be infected? E.g handshaking, sitting across from someone with the virus for an hour or so, etc etc

1 Answer 1


Saliva is the main route of exposure, so kissing, sharing utensils, etc. should be avoided. Casual contact such as handshaking and sitting near them aren't much of a risk unless they're coughing or sneezing on you.


This virus is found in the saliva of infected people and can be spread through:

  • kissing – glandular fever is often referred to as the "kissing disease"
  • exposure to coughs and sneezes
  • sharing eating and drinking utensils, such as cups, glasses and unwashed cutlery

EBV may be found in the saliva of someone who has had glandular fever for several months after their symptoms pass, and some people may continue to have the virus in their saliva on and off for years.

If you have EBV, it's a good idea to take steps to avoid infecting others while you are ill, such as not kissing other people, but there's no need no need to avoid all contact with others as the chances of passing on the infection are generally low.

Note that the virus can also be spread by other body fluids, so more intimate contact with an infected person should be avoided.


EBV spreads most commonly through bodily fluids, especially saliva. However, EBV can also spread through blood and semen during sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplantations.

  • Its may be good to add that transmission can also occur through semen and blood exposures. If someone sneezed into their hand or blew their nose that would also facilitate risk.
    – Pobrecita
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 19:44
  • @Pobrecita I figured that avoiding saliva implied avoiding more intimate body fluids, but you have a point about blood exposure so I edited to include that.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 19:49
  • Awesome 1+! Its much clearly stated to me, and I can see how it was being implied, however not all people are the same medical level and so its best to state it all flat out :)
    – Pobrecita
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 19:54

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