What Is Mono?

sick-teenager-in-bedInfectious mononucleosis, also known as mono, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This virus is common throughout the world, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 90% of people have been infected and developed immunity to EBV by the time they reach adulthood. In fact, a majority of individuals experience no symptoms when infected with EBV. Most serious cases of mono occur in teens and young adults. The illness is generally less severe in children and may mimic the symptoms of other common childhood illnesses, making it less likely to be diagnosed.

Mono is spread by person-to-person contact with infected saliva. For this reason, it has frequently been referred to as the “kissing disease.” However, mono can also be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and another person inhales droplets of infected saliva or mucus. Eating or drinking after an infected person can also transfer the virus.

Symptoms of Mono

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Severe sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Red skin rash
  • Enlarged spleen

Mono typically lasts from four to six weeks, though the incubation period may be briefer in young children. Symptoms such as sore throat and fever usually diminish within a week or two. Fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and an enlarged spleen may persist for a few weeks longer.

Get Diagnosed at RediClinic

Because the symptoms of mono are similar to those of strep throat and other illnesses, your nearest RediClinic walk-in clinic offers on-site mono testing to diagnose your illness. Your clinician can conduct an instant blood test that detects antibodies to mono. While rest and drinking plenty of fluids are the best cures for mono, your clinician can also prescribe medications to manage the discomfort caused by symptoms.

Get urgent care at a RediClinic near you with same-day and next-day appointments.