Mononucleosis or "Mono"

Mono is an infectious viral illness common among young adults and college students. The virus that causes mono is transmitted by mucus or saliva, either through direct contact or by airborne droplets. Mono is no more contagious than any other viral disease, however, the contagious state of the disease probably begins one to two weeks before symptoms appear, so you may unknowingly infect or be infected by another person.

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Extreme fatigue
  • General discomfort
  • Spleen may be enlarged
  • Faint body rash may appear
  • Some cases may be undetectable
  • Lingering weakness may last a few weeks or several months

Treatment:

  • No medication can cure mono
  • Antibiotics are not effective
  • Relieve symptoms with non-prescription drugs such as aspirin, throat lozenges, and saline gargles for sore throat.
  • Rest and get extra sleep
  • Increase liquid and eat a well balanced diet to boost your immune system
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity

Complications:

  • Inflammation of the liver, generally mild
  • Avoid alcohol to prevent the chance of more severe inflammation of the liver
  • Spleen may become swollen and weakened. Rarely, spleen may rupture
  • Severe abdominal pain could indicate rupture of the spleen; seek medical intervention right away
  • Rupture of the spleen could be life threatening