What You Need to Know about Mono

How much do you know about Mono? Find out the symptoms, treatments, how to prevent it, and more now.

September 28, 2017 | HF Healthy Living Team

Mono, also known as Infectious Mononucleosis, is a contagious disease most commonly brought on by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), one of eight herpesvirus types. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four young adults and teens affected has EBV first. Although, other viruses can cause Mono as well.

Those between the ages of 15 and 25 are at the most risk for Mono, but people with weakened immune system, nurses, and caregivers can also be affected.

Find out what you need to know about Mono now.

Symptoms of Mono

After an infection with a virus, most commonly EPV, Mono symptoms typically appear around four to six weeks later. Some who have Mono get all of these symptoms at once, or they might occur slowly.


  • Fever, and head and body aches
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen liver or spleen

Mono is usually spread through bodily fluids (mostly saliva), so it’s important to not share anything with those affected. Try not to share any personal items, as the disease takes a while to incubate and most are not aware of the infection right away. It can also be spread through sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplants.

The Best Treatments

Doctors may prescribe a pain medicine like acetaminophen (Tylenol) to alleviate the symptoms. He or she will also recommend plenty of rest and water to make sure you or your child stays hydrated. Mono can make you feel very weak, and symptoms usually last around two to four weeks.

No vaccines protect against Epstein-Barr (EPV), which is the most common cause of Mono.

How to Prevent it

Although there are no specific medicines for Mono, here’s how you can prevent it:

  • Don’t share drinks, food, or any personal items with anyone affected with EPV
  • Don’t kiss anyone who might be affected (Mono is also known as the kissing disease)
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
  • Maintain a healthy diet filled with nutritious foods to boost your immune system (healthy people have better chances fighting off viruses)
  • Exercise often (keeping yourself healthy with movement will help ward off your chances also)

Want to learn about the differences between viruses and diseases? Test your knowledge on antibiotics here.


© 2017 HF Management Services, LLC

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“Mononucleosis,” University of Maryland Medical Center. Accessed August 4, 2017.

“About Infectious Mononucleosis,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 4, 2017.

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