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Mononucleosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Infectious mononucleosis, more commonly referred to as mono, is a common virus that is spread through saliva. Often called “the kissing disease”, mono usually affects teenagers, but anyone can get it at any age. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a very common virus that most people are exposed to at a young age. In some people, EBV does not display any symptoms, but this does not mean they do not carry the virus. Sometimes, a person can have the EBV virus with no symptoms but infect other people and cause them to develop mono.

What Are the Causes of Mononucleosis:?

One of main ways a person can develop mono is by kissing someone who has the EBV virus. However, this is just one of the causes. The mono virus can also be spread through the following:

  • Sharing a drink
  • A toothbrush
  • A utensil
  • Lip balm or lipstick
  • Sexual contact

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stats that the EBV virus can be spread through both blood and semen during sexual contact. It can also transfer from person to person through a blood transfusion or organ transplant. While these circumstances are possible, the large majority of mono cases are spread through saliva.

What Are the Symptoms of Mononucleosis:?

When mono is present, the individual will likely display a wide range of symptoms. The incubation period is four to six weeks and symptoms can last for one to two months, depending on the person and the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms of mono include:

  • High fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck and armpits
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore muscles and body aches
  • Swollen spleen and/or liver (only in extreme cases)

If you have a sore throat, high fever, and are feeling very tired, please come into our Arlington urgent care to be checked out by a doctor.

How Do You Treat Mononucleosis:?

Unfortunately, there is no specific medication or pill you can take to treat mono. The best way to recover from the virus is the following:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink a lot of fluids
  • Eat healthy
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Drink tea with honey and lemon
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain and/or fever

By taking care of yourself and letting the virus work its way out of your system, you will be back to your normal self in a few weeks to a month. If you have questions about the causes, symptoms, or treatment of mono, please come into Urgentology today to meet with one of our Arlington doctors.

Important: If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room. Information in this site is not intended to be used as a diagnosis for your symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention or visit Urgentology Care.

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