What is it?
Infectious mononucleosis (“mono” for short) is a viral infection (caused by Epstein
Barr Virus) that affects lymph nodes (“glands”).
How do you catch it?
How one catches mono is not really known; however, many medical authorities believe
that secretions from the nose and throat spread the virus. Thus close contact (e.g.
sneezing or kissing) may spread it. Some people may have mono without knowing it,
so you can get it without remembering contact with anyone who had it.
What are the symptoms?
Commonly: sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, fever, headaches.
Occasionally: rash, jaundice (appearing yellow skinned), nausea, abdominal pain.
Symptoms go away before the virus leaves the body, so you may be contagious while
improving. Associated bacterial infections can also occur, including strep throat.
How is the diagnosis made?
Findings on blood counts and a mono blood test will tell you if you have mono. Sometimes
the mono test is negative even if you have mono. If tested too soon in the course
of the illness, there may not be enough antibodies for a positive test.
Will you be hospitalized?
It is not common to hospitalize patients with mono unless the symptoms are especially
severe. You may, however, need help in your apartment or dorm for a few days until
you begin to feel better.
What can you do?
>Viruses do not respond to antibiotics. Following are some things you can do to
Consult health care personnel: