(Infectious Mononucleosis; Mono)
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- Contracting EBV after age 10
- Lowered immune resistance due to other illness, stress, or fatigue
- Living in close quarters with a large number of people, such as in a college dormitory
- High fever
- Severe sore throat/swollen tonsils
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Enlargement of the spleen or liver
- Mild jaundice
- Symptoms, which can differ according to age; young children may be difficult to diagnose
Four primary symptoms:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
Two primary tests:
- Blood tests and mono spot tests
- Throat culture—to check for strep throat, which can resemble mononucleosis and also complicate mononucleosis
Relief of Symptoms
- Taking nonprescription pain relievers to lessen aches and pains and control fever
- Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of Reye syndrome. Ask your doctor which other medicines are safe for your child.
- Gargling with warm, salty water to relieve sore throat
- Get plenty of rest and fluids
- Do not lift anything heavy or exercise for at least several weeks after recovery to decrease the risk of rupturing an enlarged spleen
- Avoid contact or collision sports while you have symptoms or an enlarged spleen
- Avoid intimate contact, especially kissing, with anyone who has active mononucleosis.
- Eat a healthful diet.
- Avoid excess stress.
- Get enough rest.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Balfour HH Jr, Hokanson KM, et al. A virologic pilot study of valacyclovir in infectious mononucleosis. J Clin Virol. 2007;39:16-21.
Infectious mononucleosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 28, 2013. Accessed June 7, 2013.
Luzuriaga K, Sullivan JL. Infectious mononucleosis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 27;362(21):1993-2000.
Mononucleosis. Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/mononucleosis.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -