Mononucleosis is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The virus causes fatigue, fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Mild cases are called EBV infections; cases with severe symptoms are called mononucleosis. The word mononucleosis refers to the elevated number of mononuclear white blood cells present in the blood. EBV is transmitted by saliva, and this illness is often called the kissing disease.
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March of Dimes answered
Mononucleosis (also called mono) is an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It’s sometimes caused by another virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV). EBV and CMV are part of the herpes virus family. Mono is most common in teenagers and young adults, but anyone can get it. Mono is called the “kissing disease” because it’s usually passed from one person to another through saliva. In addition to kissing, it can also be passed through sneezing, coughing or sharing pillows, drinks, straws, and toothbrushes.
You can have mono without having any symptoms. But even if you don’t get sick, you can still pass it to others. Symptoms can include:
- Achy muscles
- Belly pain
- Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands in your neck
If your symptoms don’t go away or get worse, tell your health care provider. He’ll most likely do a physical exam and test your blood to find out for sure if you have mono.
There’s no vaccine to prevent mono. There’s also no specific treatment. The best care is to take it easy and get as much rest as you can. It may take a few weeks before you fully recover.
Mononucleosis (also known as "mono") is a virus that is most often found in children and adolescents. It is passed through saliva exchange and is sometimes known as the "kissing disease." Besides a severe sore throat, symptoms of mononucleosis can include fatigue, weakness, aches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and an enlarged spleen.
Mononucleosis can only be diagnosed by using a blood test. Since mononucleosis is a virus, there are no antibiotics that treat it. General treatment for mono is rest, plenty of fluids and acetaminophen for the aches and pains. Mono may last for several weeks, and the symptoms may recur for several months. The lymph nodes may remain enlarged for several months even after the rest of the symptoms have gone away. If you think that you or your child has mono, call your doctor.