Mononucleosis or “Mono” for short is known as “the kissing disease,”
but it’s not only spread through kissing. Mono is a virus that presents flu-like
symptoms. It’s usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Dr. Gigi Youngblood is a
pediatrician with Pediatrics East in Trussville. She says the symptoms of Mono
often resemble the flu. They include:
Symptoms of Mono
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Loss of Appetite
Mono can also cause an enlarged
liver or spleen, which is often a sign of the infection.
Dr. Youngblood explains, “The Epstein-Barr Virus can cause enlargement of the
spleen and that can create problems as kids are recovering for return to
sports.” She says when a patient is diagnosed with Mono, it’s crucial they get a lot of
rest and avoid strenuous activity until their physician tells them it’s OK to return to activity. “Even activities as simple as wrestling with their
Dr. Youngblood says, “you need to check with your doctor before resuming any
Mono usually lasts 7-10 days, but
recovery can take as long as several weeks or even months. The child’s
pediatrician should determine when it’s safe
to resume activity.
Mono is transmitted through
saliva. It can be spread through kissing, exposure to coughing or sneezing, or
sharing drinks or utensils. Proper hygiene can help prevent Mono.
Prevention of Mono
Avoid sharing drinks, utensils
Encourage children to cover
mouth, sneeze in arm
In most cases, children who get
Mono recover completely with plenty of rest and fluids. But in rare cases, complications can occur. If
your child’s symptoms linger, talk with their doctor.