What is Mono?
- Mono is frequently called the kissing disease. This is only partially true. Mono can be spread by kissing, but more commonly spread by
- Sharing drinking glasses
- Mono is caused by a virus. This means that antibiotics will not work to treat it.
- Mono usually isn’t very serious, but it can make you feel miserable for a while. Some people with mono may be more ill than others.
- Most people have had this virus by the time they are 35 years old. Many people never knew that was what they had.
- Once you have had mono, you do not usually get it again.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sore throat, sometimes following strep throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Swollen tonsils
- Skin rashes
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- There is a blood test to check for mono, but it may come back negative unless you have had symptoms for at least a week. This blood test will be returned in 1 – 2 days after it is sent.
- The incubation period for mono is usually 4 – 6 weeks.
- Mono is a virus that is always around.
- There is no vaccine to prevent mono.
- Good health habits can decrease your risk of contracting the virus.
- Get enough rest and eat healthy foods to support your immune system.
- Do not share food, dishes, glasses and utensils.
- Do not donate blood for at least 6 months after the onset of the illness to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Back to the Common Ailments page
- Get plenty of rest. Do not push yourself to continue doing everything that you are used to doing. Be patient with your body while it recovers.
- Gargle with warm salt water.
- Drink plenty of fluids, such as juice or water.
- Take over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil.
- Do not drink any alcohol for at least 1 month.
- Avoid contact sports until a health care provider tells you that it is ok to play.
- Most signs and symptoms will ease within a few weeks, but it may be 1 – 3 months before you feel completely normal.
Last Updated 5/21/12