Mononucleosis, the “kissing disease”

Mono

About Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, also called “mono,” is a contagious disease.   Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis, but other viruses can also cause this disease. It is common among teenagers and young adults, especially college students. At least 25% of teenagers and young adults who get infected with EBV will develop infectious mononucleosis.

Symptoms

Typical symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually appear 4 to 6 weeks after you get infected with EBV. Symptoms may develop slowly and may not all occur at the same time.

These symptoms include—

  • extreme fatigue
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • head and body aches
  • swollen lymph glands in the neck and armpits
  • swollen liver or spleen or both
  • rash

Enlarged spleen and a swollen liver are less common symptoms. For some people, their liver or spleen or both may remain enlarged even after their fatigue ends.

Most people get better in 2 to 4 weeks; however, some people may feel fatigued for several more weeks. Occasionally, the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis can last for 6 months or longer.

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