Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Infectious mononucleosis (mono) facts
- What is infectious mononucleosis?
- What is the cause of mono?
- What are risk factors for mono?
- How is mono transmitted or spread?
- What are the symptoms of mono?
- What are the signs of mono?
- How is mono diagnosed?
- What is the usual course and treatment of mono?
- What are the complications of mono?
- How can mono be prevented?
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Infectious mononucleosis (mono) facts
- Infectious mononucleosis (mono) is a contagious illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
- The infection can be spread by saliva, and the incubation period for mono is four to eight weeks.
- Most adults have laboratory evidence (antibodies against the EBV) indicative of a previous infection with EBV and are immune to further infection.
- The symptoms of mono include fever, fatigue, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.
- The diagnosis of mono is confirmed by blood tests.
- Mono can cause liver inflammation (hepatitis) and enlargement of the spleen.
- People who have had mono can continue to shed virus particles in their saliva during reactivations of the viral infection throughout their lifetime.
- Vigorous contact sports should be avoided in the illness and recovery phase to prevent rupture of the spleen.
What is infectious mononucleosis?
Infectious mononucleosis, "mono," "kissing disease," and glandular fever are all terms popularly used for the very common infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The characteristic symptoms of infection with EBV include fever, fatigue, malaise, and sore throat. The designation "mononucleosis" refers to an increase in a particular type of mononuclear white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the bloodstream relative to the other white blood cells as a result of the EBV infection. Scientifically, EBV is classified as a member of the herpesvirus family.
The disease was first described in 1889 and was referred to as "Drüsenfieber," or glandular fever. The term infectious mononucleosis was first used in 1920 when an increased number of lymphocytes were found in the blood of a group of college students who had fever and symptoms of the condition.
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