What is Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis, commonly known as “mono” is a contagious infection caused by the Epstein-Barr herpes virus.


Symptoms of mononucleosis include:

  • Extreme fatigue and tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Body aches or sore muscles
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen liver
  • Swollen spleen
  • Rashes


Mononucleosis is commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but can also be caused by other viruses. It’s common among teens and young adults as it is spread through saliva, like when kissing, or sharing drinks or utensils.

It’s prevalence in being spread through kissing, however, is why mononucleosis is sometimes called the “kissing disease”.


Only a doctor can diagnose mononucleosis, as a blood test is needed. The blood test also helps rule out any potentially more serious diseases.


There’s no specific treatment or cure that’s effective against mono; rest is often the best medicine. Taking care of yourself, staying hydrated, and eating healthy are the best ways to get through the symptoms. If needed, there medications or pain relievers for symptoms such as sore throat.

Most people get better in 2 to 4 weeks, while others may experience symptoms for longer.

When to See a Medical Doctor

If you experience symptoms longer than 10 days, or symptoms are severe, speak to a doctor. A doctor will be able to properly test to make sure it’s mononucleosis, as well as rule out more serious diseases.

Mono can resemble other viruses, such as a bad flu, so if you suspect you may have mono, avoid close contact with others, such as team sports or sharing drinks, until you speak to a doctor.