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Home :: Mononucleosis, Infectious

Infectious Mononucleosis

An infectious viral disease that affects the respiratory system, liver and lymphatic system. Mononucleosis causes, spleen enlargement, making athletic activity dangerous.


A contagious (Epstein-Barr virus) that is transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing, shared food or coughing. The following factors increase the risk of getting mononucleosis:

  • Stress.
  • Illness that has lowered resistance.
  • Fatigue or overwork. The high incidence among college students, athletes and military recruits may result from inadequate rest and crowded living conditions.

Signs and symptoms

  • Fever.
  • Sore throat (sometimes severe).
  • Appetite loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Swollen lymph glands, usually in the neck, underarms or groin.
  • Enlarged spleen or liver.
  • Jaundice with yellow skin and eyes (sometimes).
  • Headache.
  • General aching.


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination of your adolescent, a diagnosis of mononucleosis is usually based on reported symptoms. However, diagnosis can be confirmed with specific blood tests and other laboratory tests, including:

  • white blood cell count
  • antibody test


Most patients recover within 2-4 weeks without medication. Younger children often don't have symptoms, while some older patients may have fatigue for up to 6 weeks.

There is no specific treatment available. Antiviral medications do not help. Steroid medication may be considered for patients with severe symptoms.

Home Treatment-

  • To relieve the sore throat, gargle frequently with double-strength tea or warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of water).
  • Don't strain hard for bowel movements. This may cause bleeding in or rupture of an enlarged spleen.
  • Avoid contact with persons having infectious mononucleosis.
  • Vaccine (possibly). This is still in the experimental stages.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.