Mono: mono symptoms and mono treatment.

Mono is a viral infection that is very common in children and young adults around the world. The infection's full name is mononucleosis, but in Europe it is also known as Glandular Fever, as it causes swelling of the lymph glands.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is what causes most incidences of mono. This virus is easily and frequently passed from person to person. If you are over the age of 30, chances are that you have already been in contact with this virus. Most of the time, the virus produces no visible symptoms or is mistaken for a common cold or flu. However, 35% to 50% of children who come into contact with the Epstein-Barr virus will develop mono.

A virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) can also result in infectious mononucleosis. This virus is related to the herpes family, and is commonly picked up by the time you turn 40. Like EBV, the cytomegalovirus is contracted by 85% of the population by the age of 35. It often causes no symptoms, but it can result in mono, especially in adolescents and teenagers.

How do you get Mono?

If you have mono, your friends and family may be teasing you about how you managed to pick the infection up. Mono is often termed "The Kissing Disease," because the virus is spread through the exchange of saliva. Just because you have mono though, it doesn't mean that you have been recklessly kissing everyone around you. In fact mono is quite easily picked up through contact with everyday items.

Transmission of mononucleosis often happens when you:

  • share drinks and food with others
  • touch an infected utensil
  • just shake hands with someone who has the virus

How long is Mono Contagious?

Once you've had mono, it is unlikely that you'll get it again. Our bodies are smart enough to produce antibodies to fight off the virus. These will remain in your system for the rest of your life. There are instances of recurring mononucleosis, however these are few and far between. Only 1% to 2% of those who have had mono will get it again.

If you know someone with mono, be careful, because it is contagious. Mono can be contagious for up to two months, so avoid sharing food or drinks with an infected person. Some people will develop chronic mononucleosis, in which symptoms last for longer than six months. It is important to see a doctor if your mono persists for an unusually long time.

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