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Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis: Introduction

Mononucleosis, also known as mono or infectious mononucleosis, is a generalized infection that results in symptoms in many places in the body. Mononucleosis is caused by a virus, either the Epstein-Barr virus or cytomegalovirus.

Mononucleosis is very contagious and spreads from person to person through intimate contact with the saliva of a person who has mononucleosis. This is why mononucleosis is often referred to as the kissing disease. Mononucleosis is most common in adolescents and young adults, especially those that live in crowded situations, such as in dormitories.

The symptoms of mononucleosis can vary from mild to severe and life-threatening complications may develop in some cases. Early symptoms are flu-like. The classic symptoms of mononucleosis develop later and include swollen glands and extreme fatigue. For additional symptoms and more information about complications, refer to symptoms of mononucleosis.

Making a diagnosis of mononucleosis involves taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam. This includes feeling the lymph glands for signs of swelling. A rapid test called a mono spot test is available to help diagnose mononucleosis. This test might be performed in conjunction with a blood test that checks for the presence of specific antibodies that the body produces to fight mononucleosis.

Other blood tests include a complete blood count, which tests for an abnormally high number of white blood cells. This indicates an infectious process occurring in the body.

It is possible that a diagnosis of mononucleosis can be delayed or overlooked because the symptoms may resemble symptoms of other diseases. For information about misdiagnosis and diseases and conditions that can mimic mononucleosis, refer to misdiagnosis ofmononucleosis.

The virus that most commonly causes mononucleosis, the Epstein-Barr virus, is extremely common and causes infection in most people at one time or another during their lifetime. It is also possible to spread the Epstein-Barr virus even when a person is not sick. Because of this, there is little that can be done to prevent its spread.

There is currently no specific cure for mononucleosis. Treatment includes measures to help relieve symptoms and keep the body as strong as possible to minimize the risk of developing complications until the disease runs its course. This includes rest, medications to ease body aches and fever, and drinking plenty of fluids. People who are in good health can generally recover from the mononucleosis at home with supportive care, such as rest, fluids, and pain relievers. Corticosteroids may be prescribed in some cases.

Antibiotics are ineffective against mononucleosis, but may be prescribed if the complications of a secondary bacterial infection develops, such as bacterial tonsillitis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of mononucleosis. ...more »

Mononucleosis: Mononucleosis is a common infectious viral disease transferred in saliva or kissing. It is also called "glandular fever" outside the USA, or other names such as "mono" and "infectious mononucleosis". The cause is a virus called the Epstein-Barr virus. ...more »

Mononucleosis: Symptoms

Symptoms of mononucleosis can vary among individuals but generally begin about four to six weeks after exposure to the disease. Early symptoms are flu-like and may include fever, severe fatigue, headache, sore throat, and swollen tonsils.

As mononucleosis progresses, typical symptoms include painful swollen glands in the neck, armpits, or groin. Some people may also develop a ...more symptoms »

Mononucleosis: Treatments

Treatment of most viral diseases begins with preventing the spread of the specific virus with hygiene measures. However, the virus that most commonly causes mononucleosis, the Epstein-Barr virus, is extremely common and causes viral infection in most people at one time or another during their lifetimes. It is also possible to spread the Epstein-Barr virus even when a ...more treatments »

Mononucleosis: Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosing mononucleosis is possible because the early symptoms of mononucleosis can mimic other diseases, such as strep throat, influenza, cold, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lymphoma, and upper respiratory infection.

To ensure the symptoms are due to mononucleosis and not other diseases, some tests may be done, such as a throat culture and ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Mononucleosis

Treatments for Mononucleosis

Home Diagnostic Testing

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis: Related Patient Stories

Mononucleosis: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Mononucleosis.

Diagnostic Tests for Mononucleosis

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Mononucleosis: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Mononucleosis:

Causes of Mononucleosis

Read more about causes of Mononucleosis.

More information about causes of Mononucleosis:

Disease Topics Related To Mononucleosis

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Mononucleosis:

Misdiagnosis and Mononucleosis

Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis, when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection, such as a common cold....read more »

Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears off after...read more »

Mononucleosis: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Latest Treatments for Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis: Animations

Prognosis for Mononucleosis

Prognosis for Mononucleosis: Usually good and self-limiting; sometimes long-lasting complications.

Research about Mononucleosis

Visit our research pages for current research about Mononucleosis treatments.

Clinical Trials for Mononucleosis

The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Mononucleosis include:

Statistics for Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis: Broader Related Topics

Mononucleosis Message Boards

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User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Mononucleosis, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Definitions of Mononucleosis:

Acute disease characterized by fever and swollen lymph nodes and an abnormal increase of mononuclear leucocytes or monocytes in the bloodstream; not highly contagious; some believe it can be transmitted by kissing. - (Source - Diseases Database)

An acute disease characterized by fever and swollen lymph nodes and an abnormal increase of mononuclear leucocytes or monocytes in the bloodstream; not highly contagious; some believe it can be transmitted by kissing - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

 

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