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Mononucleosis (Mono)

Jul 21, 1998

I was just diagnosed with mono and would like a little information on some things that might help me get over this as quickly as possible. My doctor said to drink lots of fluids and avoid strenous activinty.

What is the reason for drinking all the fluids?

Also, i've seen on the internet where the spleen and liver can become enlarged in these cases. Is there a way to keep this under control to prevent rupturing?

Finally, how do i know when i no longer have mono.


Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Let me give you a brief summary about Mononucleosis (more commonly known as "mono").

Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). It is most often transmitted by exposure to saliva getting into the mouth (such as kissing). This virus can be infectious to others for a year or more after infection. Generally speaking, once a person is infected, they become resistant (immune) to future exposures to the virus. However, if a person has a damaged or weakened immune system, this can lead to re-activation of the virus. EBV can sometimes be transmitted by receiving a blood transfusion, but it is very rare for a person to get symptoms when they become infected this way. This infection can only be diagnosed by your doctor through various laboratory tests.

Mono most often causes fatigue and flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, swollen glands etc). A person may also have an enlargement of the spleen. On occasion jaundice may also be seen, but this is not very common. However, about half of all people who have this infection will not have any symptoms at all. When symptoms are seen, they generally appear 4-6 weeks after infection. These symptoms generally last a few weeks, but on very rare occasion, they may last for months. The symptoms of this infection closely resemble the symptoms of many other illnesses. Normally, mononucleosis resolves on it's own, and no specific treatment is necessary. If your symptoms do not go away by themselves in a few weeks, see your doctor again. Once the symptoms go away, that indicates that the infection has resolved.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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