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Five Fast Facts About Mono

Mono (short for mononucleosis) is a common contagious infection, especially in young adults, that’s caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Here are five fast facts patients should know about this infection!

1) Mono has three classic symptoms.

The three most common symptoms of mono are

  • A fever
  • A severe, swollen, sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Because it’s impossible to distinguish mono from other causes of these symptoms (like strep throat), it’s important to have testing done to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

2) Mono most commonly affects young people.

Rates of mono peak in young people ages 15-24. It’s often called “The Kissing Disease” because young people are sharing first kisses with their high school or college sweethearts, and EBV is transmitted through contact with saliva.  

3) You can have mono and not know it.

While severe symptoms often prompt patients to see a medical provider and have mono testing done, some people get a milder form of the infection and have what’s referred to as “subclinical symptoms” (symptoms that aren’t severe enough to pay attention to). It’s estimated that more than 90% of adults have antibodies to the EBV virus, though only 10% of them have received a mono diagnosis.

4) Patients with mono should avoid contact sports.

While some of the symptoms of mono, like a mild sore throat and swollen glands, often resolve on their own without medical intervention, there are more severe complications of mono that patients and their parents should be aware of, including swelling of the liver and the spleen. Because swollen organs are more prone to rupturing, it’s recommended that patients with an active mono infection avoid contact sports (like football), since a hit to the abdomen could result in life-threatening internal bleeding.

5) There is no cure for mono.

If you’re symptomatic, it’s important to be tested for mono to determine a diagnosis and receive appropriate follow-up care. But unfortunately, there’s no specific cure for mono. It’s a virus that your immune system eventually overcomes on its own, though the time frame varies, with mono infections taking weeks to months to resolve.

We're here if you need us

At GoHealth Urgent Care, we provide rapid mono testing, which gives you a diagnosis in ten minutes or less. We’re open seven days a week to care for you. If you have a minor injury or illness, don’t put off getting the care you need. We offer an easy check-in process and short wait times. Just walk-in or save your spot online. Select your location below to find the urgent care center nearest you.

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