What is mononucleosis (mono)?
Mononucleosis, also called "mono," is a common viral illness that can make you feel fatigued for weeks or months. This infectious illness is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus which is passed from person to person by close contact such as kissing, coughing, or shared eating and drinking utensils. It is most common in adolescents and young adults (from 12 to 40 years of age). It affects the throat, lungs, liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.
Risk increases with stress, recent illness, fatigue, being overworked and being a high school or college student.
What are the symptoms of mono?
Symptoms include fever, sore throat (sometimes severe), enlarged tonsils, fatigue, swollen lymph glands (usually in the neck, underarms, or groin), enlarged spleen, enlarged liver, jaundice with yellow skin and eyes (sometimes), headache and body ache.
What is the treatment for mono?
Visit Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens if you think you may have mono. Based on a physical exam and a description of your symptoms, we may conduct a mono spot test. There is no specific treatment for mono, other than treating the symptoms. No antiviral drugs or vaccines are available. Those diagnosed with mono should do as follows:
- Get plenty of rest, which may include bed rest which could keep you away from school or work for a while
- Gargle with salt water or use throat lozenges to soothe a sore throat
- Take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil) to reduce fever and relieve aches and pains
- Avoid contact sports and heavy lifting, as it could cause an enlarged spleen to burst
- Resume activity gradually. Rest when you are tired.
Persons with mononucleosis may be contagious while they have symptoms and for up to a few months afterwards.
This treatment is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.