OK, Who’d You Kiss? Mononucleosis

4 Mar

I love having this conversation with families in my office…of course you don’t have to kiss someone to get mono but this famous means of contracting it is the funniest to talk about and makes teenagers squirm in their seats…

The most common age to get infected with mono is in early childhood but most of these children do not develop symptoms.  It is when you somehow avoid mono until later that you develop more symptoms.

The most common symptoms of mono are: fever, sore throat, swollen neck lymph nodes and fatigue.

Mono is contracted by trading saliva with an infected individual through kissing or sharing of food/utensils.  So, you don’t have to kiss someone to get mono from them but you do have to have pretty close contact with them.

One of the fears associated with mono is that it can cause your spleen to swell.  This can cause pain in the upper left of your abdomen but is often without symptoms.  Limitation from contact sports is important to decrease the risk of rupturing the spleen; although this is uncommon, it is a dangerous complication that can be avoided by limiting contact sports/activities.

The fatigue with mono can last up to 2-4 weeks and thus patients should gradually increase activity as they begin to feel better.

There is no specific treatment for mono aside from providing treatment for pain and fever and allowing for extra rest.

And…remember that you have to take a break from kissing your girl/boyfriend or else everyone will know…If your parents haven’t figured it out, I’ll make sure and tell them.


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