What is mono?
Mono is an abbreviation for infectious mononucleosis. Mono is an infectious disease
, which means it can be passed from person to person. It's usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus
and is very common among teenagers and young adults. back to top
How do you get mono?
The virus that causes mono travels from person to person through the air. You can get it by being in close contact with someone who has it. It usually takes 1 to 2 months before you show signs of the disease.
Although mono is often called "the kissing disease," you don't have to kiss an infected person to get it. back to top
What are the symptoms of mono?
The most common symptoms of mono are:
- fatigue (feeling really draggy)
- sore throat
- enlarged lymph nodes (also known as glands) in the neck
Other symptoms include:
- muscle aches
- a bumpy rash
- Some people may have belly pain because the liver or spleen is enlarged.
The early symptoms of mono—the fever, chills, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes, headache, and rash—usually get better in 2 to 4 weeks. But they're often followed by severe tiredness and feeling vaguely sick for many more weeks. back to top
How can I find out if I have mono?
Many of the symptoms of mono are just like the flu or a strep throat
. Your health professional can examine you and do several tests that will help to tell them apart. Two really helpful blood tests are a mono spot test
and a blood count
. The mono spot test
can correctly diagnose mono more than 85% of the time. The blood count test often shows a high level of a certain type of white blood cell that is associated with mono. back to top
How can I get rid of mono?
Mono will go away by itself over a few weeks or months. During that time, if you limit your activity and get plenty of rest, you will start to feel better. back to top
Why do I need to avoid contact sports while I have mono?
Many people who have mono have enlargement of the liver
. When these organs are enlarged they are much more sensitive to injury from rough contact. That's why many health professionals believe that it's best to avoid contact sports for a while. Your health professional can help you figure out when it's okay to return to normal activities. back to top
Will all my friends get mono from me?
Probably not. Most of the time, the family members and friends of a girl with mono won't catch the disease from her. But, just to be safe, you should avoid sharing drinks with people and kissing until your health professional says you're not contagious any more. back to top