Infectious Mononucleosis

What is Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis is an infection that is caused by a virus. This illness is often called “mono.” You can get mono from close contact with someone who is infected (it is contagious).

If you have mono, you may feel tired and have a sore throat, a headache, or a fever. Mono is usually not serious, but some people may need to be treated for it in the hospital.

Follow these instructions at home:

Medicines

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your doctor.
  • Do not take ampicillin or amoxicillin. This may cause a rash.
  • If you are under 18, do not take aspirin.

Activity

  • Rest as needed.
  • Do not do any of the following activities until your doctor says that they are safe for you:
    • Contact sports. You may need to wait a month or longer before you play sports.
    • Exercise that requires a lot of energy.
    • Lifting heavy things.
  • Slowly go back to your normal activities after your fever is gone, or when your doctor says that you can. Be sure to rest when you get tired.

Preventing infectious mononucleosis

  • Avoid contact with people who have mono. An infected person may not seem sick, but he or she can still spread the virus.
  • Avoid sharing forks, spoons, knives (utensils), drinking cups, or toothbrushes.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you cannot use soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
  • Use the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

General instructions

  • Avoid kissing or sharing forks, spoons, knives, or drinking cups until your doctor approves.
  • Drink enough fluid to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • If you have a sore throat:
    • Rinse your mouth (gargle) with a salt-water mixture 3–4 times a day or as needed. To make a salt-water mixture, completely dissolve ½–1 tsp of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
    • Eat soft foods. Cold foods such as ice cream or frozen ice pops can help your throat feel better.
    • Try sucking on hard candy.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you cannot use soap and water, use hand sanitizer.

Contact a doctor if:

  • Your fever is not gone after 10 days.
  • You have swelling by your jaw or neck (swollen lymph nodes), and the swelling does not go away after 4 weeks.
  • Your activity level is not back to normal after 2 months.
  • Your skin or the white parts of your eyes turn yellow (jaundice).
  • You have trouble pooping (have constipation). This may mean that you:
    • Poop (have a bowel movement) fewer times in a week than normal.
    • Have a hard time pooping.
    • Have poop that is dry, hard, or bigger than normal.

Get help right away if:

  • You have very bad pain in your:
    • Belly (abdomen).
    • Shoulder.
  • You are drooling.
  • You have trouble swallowing.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have a stiff neck.
  • You have a very bad headache.
  • You cannot stop throwing up (vomiting).
  • You have jerky movements that you cannot control (seizures).
  • You are confused.
  • You have trouble with balance.
  • Your nose or gums start to bleed.
  • You have signs of body fluid loss (dehydration). These may include:
    • Weakness.
    • Sunken eyes.
    • Pale skin.
    • Dry mouth.
    • Fast breathing or heartbeat.

Summary

  • Infectious mononucleosis, or “mono,” is an infection that is caused by a virus.
  • Mono is usually not serious, but some people may need to be treated for it in the hospital.
  • You should not play contact sports or lift heavy things until your doctor says that you can.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you cannot use soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
15585

Sign up to receive the trending updates and tons of Health Tips

Join SeekhealthZ and never miss the latest health information

15856
Scroll to Top