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Mono Test & Treatment

What is Mono?

Infectious mononucleosis, better known as mono, has received the nickname of “the kissing disease” as it is transmitted through saliva. While kissing is a way to contract mono, it can also be transmitted via a cough or sneeze or by sharing a drink or eating utensils with a person who has the infection. Teens and young adults are most likely to show all signs and symptoms while younger children may have few symptoms, often going undiagnosed. Mono is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is not considered serious by itself. There are complications that could occur, however, that may be more serious than the actual disease.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throat (may present as strep throat, but will not get better with antibiotics)
  • Severe fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Skin rash
  • Soft, swollen spleen

A fever and sore throat should subside within a few weeks, but the fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and swollen spleen may stick around for a few weeks longer. Some of the symptoms may bring complications that will require medical attention right away.

Complications can include:

  • Spleen enlargement (extreme cases may lead to spleen rupture, causing sharp, sudden pain on the left side of the upper abdomen, requiring immediate medical attention.)
  • Mild liver inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • Low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Nervous system complications
  • Swollen tonsils

Complications are rare, but will be more prevalent in those who have impaired immune systems.

How is mono diagnosed?

Your medical provider will begin to suspect mono based on the signs and symptoms you are experiencing, but additional confirmation can be done through a blood test.

What is the treatment for mono?

Unfortunately, since mono is a viral infection, there are no medications for the specific treatment of mono. The best thing that can be done is getting plenty of bed rest, good nutrition, and drinking plenty of fluids. Certain antibiotics may be prescribed if a secondary infection develops, such as strep throat or a sinus infection. Medications such as amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives can cause a rash, even if the patient is not allergic to these drugs.

If you suspect you may have mono, visit one of our Midwest Express Clinic urgent care locations today.


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