Oakland County, Michigan/Health/Information/Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious Mononucleosis

What is Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)?

Mononucleosis is a contagious viral infection. It is diagnosed by blood tests.

Who can get Infectious Mononucleosis?

Anyone can get Mono, but it is most common in children, teens and young adults.

What are the symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis?

Symptoms begin 4-6 weeks after exposure. They include sore throat, fever, swollen glands in the neck, armpits and groin, and feeling sick or tired. Symptoms can last from one to several weeks.

How is Infectious Mononucleosis spread?

Mono is spread person to person by saliva or by objects or hands exposed to saliva.

How long is the person contagious?

The mono virus can remain in saliva for one year or more after infection, even after symptoms are gone. The person should be considered contagious all this time. Some people can become carriers.

What is the treatment for Infectious Mononucleosis?

There is no specific treatment. The illness usually goes away by itself in 3-4 weeks.

Are there complications?

Complications are rare. If you notice unusual behaviors or symptoms, contact your physician.

How can Infectious Mononucleosis be prevented?

Good hand washing and hygiene are important. Wash toys shared by young children.

Avoid the following:

  • Drinking or eating from a common container
  • Mouth-to-mouth kissing
  • Sharing of any article contaminated with saliva, i.e. gum, candy, pacifiers, eating utensils.

Do the following:

  • Cough or sneeze into tissue. Dispose of tissue properly into trash can. Use of handkerchiefs is not recommended.
For additional information about cleanliness and to avoid spreading illness, visit the Oakland County Health Division - Hand Washing web page.