Mononucleosis (Mono)

Mononucleosis, also known as “mono” or the “kissing disease,” is an infectious illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The virus spreads through close contact with saliva, such as through kissing, sharing drinks or utensils, or close personal contact.

The symptoms of mono typically develop 4 to 6 weeks after infection and can last for several weeks or even months. Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and under the arms
  • Fever
  • Body aches and muscle weakness
  • Rash
  • Enlarged spleen or liver

Most people with mono recover without any long-term effects, although some people may experience persistent fatigue and other symptoms for several months after the acute illness has resolved.

Diagnosis of mono is typically based on a person’s symptoms, a physical exam, and blood tests. There is no specific treatment for mono, and the treatment is primarily supportive, aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications. This can include rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and plenty of fluids.

If you think you may have mono, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper evaluation and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and minimize the duration and severity of symptoms.

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