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"How do viruses work?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do viruses work?


About a month ago my girlfriend found out she had mononucleosis I did some research on it and I found out that it was a dormant virus that didn’t show any symptoms until weeks after you contracted it I assumed I had already come into contact with the virus and when her symptoms started showing I wasn’t cautious at all, I assumed I either already contracted it, or I had already had it previously in life. A couple weeks later I began showing symptoms and I went to the doctor, he prescribed me medication About a week ago made a full recovery and I don’t have any symptoms but I know that mono remains contagious for a while after you stop showing symptoms My question was that if my girlfriend gave me this virus, will she be able to catch it again from me?


These are good questions to discuss with your doctor. In general, viruses cross an interesting line between living creatures and things that are not quite alive. They change rapidly (at least some do), and do not replicate in the way that most living creatures do, but instead can hi-jack the machinery of our bodies to do their dirty work for them and to create more viruses. Because some types of virus can actually alter our DNA, these viruses can then persist in our bodies indefinitely. For this reason (the fact that the viruses can change our DNA), there are some viruses that have been found to contribute to the development of cancers later in life. The way that the body most effectively fights these viruses (beyond the general and non-specific defenses of skin, etc) is to create anti-bodies that surround the virus particles and block them from interacting. This does take some time, and the ramping up of the immune system contributes to the overall weakness and ill feelings that we get when we have a viral infection. From what we have discussed, you can see that someone may be able to get infected again, or infect someone else again, if there is some breakdown in the process described, or the viruses are sufficiently different. Please speak with your doctor about this question and your specific illness.

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