Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious Mononucleosis

What is infectious mononucleosis?

Infectious mononucleosis, also known as mononucleosis, "mono," or glandular fever, is characterized by swollen lymph glands, fever, sore throat, and chronic fatigue.

What causes infectious mononucleosis?

Infectious mononucleosis is either caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or the cytomegalovirus,(CMV), both of which are members of the herpes virus family. Consider the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

What are the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis usually lasts for one to two months. The following are the most common symptoms of mononucleosis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Once a person has had mononucleosis, the virus remains dormant in the throat and blood cells for the rest of that person's life. Once a person has been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, a person is usually not at risk for developing mononucleosis again.

The symptoms of mononucleosis may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

How is infectious mononucleosis diagnosed?

A diagnosis of mononucleosis is usually based on reported symptoms. However, diagnosis can be confirmed with specific blood tests and other laboratory tests, including:

How is infectious mononucleosis spread?

Mononucleosis is often spread through contact with infected saliva from the mouth. Symptoms can take between four to six weeks to appear and usually do not last beyond four months, according to the CDC. Transmission is impossible to prevent, according to the CDC, because even symptom-free people can carry the virus in their saliva.

What is the treatment for infectious mononucleosis?

Treatment for mononucleosis may include:

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