Many people get EBV during their lifetime. Here are factors that raise the chance that EBV will turn into mono:
- Getting EBV after age 10
- Lowered immune system due to other illness, stress, or lack of energy
- Living in close quarters with many people, such as in a college dormitory
Getting mono once means you will be immune to it in the future.
Signs of mono start 4 to 7 weeks after you were exposed to the virus. The first symptoms may be a sense of weakness that lasts about 1 week. Next, you may have:
- High fever
- Severe sore throat/swollen tonsils
- Swollen glands
- Lack of energy
- Loss of hunger
- Muscle aches
- Belly swelling
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes— jaundice
There is no way to cure mono or to shorten the length of the illness. It lasts 4-6 weeks, but the lack of energy may last longer.
During the first few weeks, you should not play contact sports or lift anything heavy. A swollen spleen puts you at high risk of splenic rupture. This needs surgery. In rare cases, it can be fatal.
Get plenty of rest. Other steps may be to:
- Take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen
- Gargle with warm, salty water
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take steroids to reduce swelling in the throat, if advised by your doctor
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Infectious Mononucleosis; Mono)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
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