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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Diseases & Conditions Diseases & Conditions Arrow to Mononucleosis Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis symptoms

• sore throat
• headache
• fever
• fatigue
• loss of appetite
• swollen glands
• sore throat
• light sensitivity
• muscle aches and pains
• skin rash


Mononucleosis is an infection that is caused by a virus of the herpes family, the Epstein-Barr virus.

Commonly known as mono (or in the UK and Australia as glandular fever) its is transmitted through saliva, which is why mononucleosis is also sometimes called "the kissing disease."

Although the condition can be transmitted through kissing, it can also be contracted by sharing eating utensils, or drinking from the same glass as someone else who is infected. Mono is also transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

Symptoms usually appear between 4 to 6 weeks after exposure. The initial symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to common cold or flu symptoms and may not be easily distinguished.

Symptoms include sore throat, headache, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, swollen glands and white patches on the back of the throat. The eyes may be light sensitive, and muscle aches and pains may occur as well. A skin rash may also develop.

Also known as "the kissing
disease", mononucleosis
is as contagious as the
common cold or flu.

There is no cure for mononucleosis. It will run its course on its own although it may take anywhere from several days to several weeks.

Treatment is symptomatic. Over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol can be taken for fever and pain relief. It is important to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of bed rest while recuperating from mononucleosis.

Although mono usually resolves with no adverse effects, complications may occur, such as enlargement of the spleen. Liver conditions such as hepatitis or jaundice may also develop as the body works overtime filtering out infection.

The virus that causes mononucleosis can remain in the body system for several weeks after a person has recovered, so anyone infected with should take time to recuperate, and refrain from strenuous activity until fully recovered.

Of course, prevention is the best medicine. By practicing good hygiene, such as hand washing and covering the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, you can also lessen the spread of such viruses. Although it is not possible to avoid contact with all germs or viruses, taking simple precautions can lessen the risk of exposure to illnesses such as mononucleosis.

About the author: Darlene Zagata

More about mononucleosis around the Web:

- guide with a teen-friendly overview of causes, symptoms and treatment including articles on related topics and related resources for more information.

What's the Best Treatment for Mono? - Professional tips on treatments from the home medicine cabinet, suggested herbal remedies, and related advice on speeding recovery.

Mono Treatment - Advice on how to ease the discomfort of sore throat, fever and body aches, and related tips.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

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