“Mono” stands for mononucleosis. It is an infection caused by a virus. Mono can affect the throat, lymph glands, liver and spleen. Mono is diagnosed by a blood test. Sometimes the infection has to be present for several days before the blood test shows that the virus is there.
Mono can cause …
- pain in the abdomen on the right side.
- a fever
- sore throat
- swollen glands
- sometimes a rash, or sometimes yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
How is Mono Spread?
The virus is spread through sneezing, coughing and kissing.
How is Mono Treated?
- Mono does NOT get better with antibiotics.
- It is safe to control fever with acetaminophen (Tylenol®). DO NOT USE ASPIRIN® OR ASPIRIN-CONTAINING PRODUCTS (salicylic acid). This could lead to Reyes Syndrome which causes brain and liver damage.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep. Rest until your fever is gone.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day, especially if you have a fever.
- Try to eat a well-balanced diet, even though you don’t feel like eating.
- Gargling may help your sore throat. Use warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water), or use double-strength tea.
- Try starting normal activities after your fever is gone. Rest when you are tired.
How Long Does it Take to Get Better?
Most people get better in 2 to 4 weeks. You may feel tired for 3 to 6 weeks after the other symptoms are gone.
Visit the OUCC or the Emergency Department if …
- you have trouble swallowing
- you have trouble breathing
- you become very lightheaded
- you have pain in your abdomen or your shoulder
- there is confusion (confusion means that the person does not make sense when he talks, or the person acts in a very bizarre way)