MONO FACTS


What is Mono?
Mono Symptoms
How did I get mono?
How long is mono contagious?
Can I get mono twice?
Testing for Mono
Treatment


What is Mono?


Infectious Mononucleosis (or mono) is an illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Since the virus is commonly spread through contact with saliva, mono has a reputation for being "the kissing disease." Infectious Mononucleosis is also referred to as Pfeiffer's disease and glandular fever. While mono can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in teens and young adults. A case of mono can keep you out of commission for weeks to months .


Mono Symptoms

Mononucleosis most common symptoms are fever, sore throat, soreness and fatigue. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. In small children, mono typically produces extremely mild symptoms.

(You can see why Mono also is termed glandular fever, given the symptoms listed above)

Some additional and less common symptoms include enlarged spleen, abdominal pain, aching muscles, headache, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, uncontrollable shaking, disorientation, dry cough and depression.

It usually takes about four to six weeks to show symptoms after being exposed to mono. It may seem like you have the flu or strep throat because the symptoms are so much alike, so it's important to confirm you have mono by visiting a doctor. Your doctor will most likely do a physical exam and a blood test.


How did I get mono?

Mononucleosis is typically transmitted through saliva, earning it the name "the kissing disease", or by sharing a drink, or sharing eating utensils.

In addition to saliva, the virus can be spread through mucus from the nose or throat and sometimes even tears. Saliva can also be carried through coughs or sharing toothbrushes, food, cups, utensils and lip makeup. It may also be transmitted through blood. Individuals in close living arrangements nearly always pass the infection onto each other, although symptoms may not present for months or even years.


How long is mono contagious?

Even though you may not have anymore of the symptoms, the virus stays in your saliva for months after your initial infection. Therefore, if you've had mono, experts recommend not sharing objects that may contain your saliva for about six months after you start feeling better. In addition, most doctors suggest avoiding kissing during that period. A person can be infected with the virus for months before any symptoms appear, so it's also possible to have mono and accidentally spread it to others.


Can I get mono twice?

People generally only get mononucleosis once. Although unusual, it is possible to get mono more than once. As with any virus, once you have it is capable of reactiviation. If a reactivation occurs, it indicates the immune system needs to be strengthened. This can be achieved with macronutrient treatment that is extremely effective in treating mono. See our home page for more details.


Testing for Mono

The Monospot test is the most common test for mono. It is widely used and provides fast results. 80-90% of people with mono will test positive for this test. This test is frequently false negative in young children and in the beginning stages of mono. If the Monospot test is negative, and mononucleosis is still suspected, an Epstein-Barr virus specific antibody test can be preformed. Also, liver function tests will show increased liver enzyme level in about 90% of mono cases.


Mono Treatment

There is no pharmaceutical treatment for treat Mononucleosis or the Epstein-Barr virus. Physicians typically prescribe plenty of rest and fever reducers if a fever is present. There is however a little known macronutrient treatment that is extremely effective in treating mono. See our home page for more details.