Infectious mononucleosis, commonly known as "mono" or "the kissing disease", is a viral illness typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Here are the common symptoms:
Symptoms usually appear four to six weeks after you get infected with the virus.
Infectious mononucleosis is most commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpesvirus family. It's spread through bodily fluids, usually saliva, which is why it's often referred to as the "kissing disease." It can also be spread through blood and semen during sexual contact, organ transplants, or blood transfusions.
Once you're infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life, but it's usually dormant or inactive. Only a small number of people may have a reactivation of symptoms.
There's no specific therapy available to treat infectious mononucleosis. In most cases, the virus must simply run its course. However, there are steps you can take to ease symptoms:
Remember to seek medical attention if your symptoms are severe or if they're not improving after a couple of weeks. In some cases, complications such as an enlarged spleen, liver issues, or less commonly, heart problems can occur.
This handout provides an overview of infectious mononucleosis and how to manage it. Always consult with a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and support for your condition.