Mononucleosis – Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment


Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis (mono), is a herpes virus that spreads easily. Additionally, other viruses can cause mono. Young people and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the virus. The symptoms of mono include fever, severe exhaustion, and bodily pains. Up until the disease spontaneously disappears, treatments can reduce symptoms.

Mononucleosis (mono)

Mononucleosis is a contagious illness that commonly affects teenagers and young adults, while it can also affect children. Viruses, most often the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and certain disorders cause the syndrome to develop. Due to its ease of transmission through body fluids like saliva, mono is occasionally referred to as “the kissing disease.”

Mono is often a mild condition that resolves on its own. Extreme exhaustion, physical discomfort, and other symptoms may still interfere with daily activities, employment, and education. Mono can cause sickness that lasts for around a month.


A high fever, larger lymph nodes in the armpits and neck, and a scratchy throat are common symptoms of mono. The majority of mono cases are minor and simply go away with little to no therapy. Usually not dangerous, the infection clears out on its own in one to two months. Other signs can include:

  • Head pain
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasm
  • Flat pink or purple blotches on your skin or inside of your mouth that are a rash
  • Tonsil swelling
  • Sweats at night
  • Your liver or spleen may occasionally expand as well, although mononucleosis seldom results in fatality.

When compared to other common viruses like the flu, mono is difficult to recognize. Consult a doctor if your symptoms do not go away after one or two weeks of self-care measures. These include relaxing, drinking plenty of water, and eating wholesome meals.


In order to make a diagnosis, your healthcare professional will evaluate your symptoms. They will specifically look for liver swelling or spleen symptoms as well as swollen lymph nodes in your neck. Antibodies that your body produces to combat the Epstein-Barr virus are found through blood testing. Additionally, your doctor could look for an infection-related increase in the quantity of white blood cells (lymphocytes).

Treatment For Mononucleosis

Mono has no vaccine or treatment available. Antibiotics employed to treat bacterial infections cannot be used to treat mono, nor can antiviral medications be used to treat other viruses. Therapies, on the other hand, focus on reducing your symptoms in order to improve your mood. Your care may consist of:

  • Rest: Mono makes you extremely exhausted. While you sleep, your body fights sickness.
  • Hydration: To avoid dehydration, consume lots of water.
  • Pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are painkillers that reduce fever, inflammation, headaches, and muscular pains.
  • Throat relievers: To soothe a sore throat, gargle with salt water and apply throat lozenges.
  • Avoiding sports: An enlarged spleen may experience excessive pressure from physical exercise, raising the possibility of rupture. Avoid contact sports and strenuous activity during the first four weeks after being ill, as well as during that time.

When Should I Make a Doctor’s Appointment?

If you have mono and experience any of these signs:

  • Breathing or swallowing issues.
  • Fainting or dizziness.
  • Extreme arm- or leg-muscle weakness.
  • Painful bodily pains.
  • Ongoing high fever.
  • A terrible headache.
  • Sharp abdominal ache in the upper left.

The Bottom Line

Most mononucleosis (mono) occurrences do not result in significant issues. Some symptoms that could be disruptive to life, employment, and education include extreme exhaustion, a sore throat, and physical discomfort. Thus, your doctor or other medical expert could offer suggestions for how to feel better. The best strategies to relieve symptoms are frequent rest and over-the-counter drugs. Furthermore, it’s crucial to avoid strenuous activities that might break a spleen that has grown.