Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)

What is Infectious Mononucleosis?

Infectious Mononucleosis is more commonly known as “Mono”.  Infectious Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is a very contagious disease that is spread through saliva. Use of contaminated items such as unclean eating utensils, drinking glasses, and sharing food that someone may have already bitten into can easily cause spread the virus to spread. The disease appears more often in teens and young children. Young children can be exposed further to the disease through used of shared, unclean toys.

Chances of adults getting Infectious Mononucleosis are rare because they are more likely to have developed immunity to the virus by then. On rare occasions, adults with compromised autoimmune systems can contract the virus.

What are the Symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis?

The symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis can vary. Not everyone affected will carry each of the reported symptoms.

Symptoms include

  • Body aches
  • Sore and swollen feelings in the throat
  • Loss of appetite and energy

In more severe cases, a person might feel abdominal pain in the upper left side. This could mean that the spleen may be enlarged resulting in the potential for more serious problems to develop.

How is Infectious Mononucleosis Treated?

Infectious Mononucleosis will pass over time even though some people may continue to feel tired over an extended period of months. Antibiotic medications have not shown to be of tremendous benefit in treatment. Common pain medications such as Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and Naproxen can be used to treat body aches. Rest is a very important key to recovery. In more extreme cases of Mono, corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the swelling of the throat and tonsils.

Last Reviewed:
September 14, 2016
Last Updated:
September 01, 2017
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