Mononucleosis can occur throughout your life, though you are most likely to get it sometime between the ages of 15 and 25. Mono symptoms can be slightly different depending on your age and how severe your infection is. It is a good idea to be aware of the signs of mono so you will recognize the virus and be able to start the recovery process as soon as possible. Mono that goes undetected can become chronic.

Mono in Children

Mono in children under the age of 12 is often hard to detect. Symptoms of mono in kids tend to be mild and, at most, flu-like. A lot more children probably suffer from mono than we even realize.

Children with infectious mono are most likely to experience:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Light fatigue
  • Listlessness
  • Mild fever (if this fever becomes higher than 102, seek medical assistance)

Mono in Young Adults

When you think of mono, you probably associate it with teenagers and young adults. Actually, mono most often occurs in these age groups. About 50% of students have had mononucleosis by the time they finish high school. If you are a teenager, the prospect of a few weeks or more off school is probably quite appealing. However, mono can have some pretty horrible symptoms and can leave you feeling tired and weak for months. Mononucleosis symptoms generally take about 4 to 8 weeks to appear, though on occasion, it can take up to 12 weeks for symptoms to develop. Symptoms include:

  • Initially, loss of energy, chills, and a lack of appetite
  • Bad sore throat and swollen lymph nodes (for the first 2 weeks)
  • Fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Persistently tender spleen (felt as a pain in your left side)
  • Rarely, a pink rash will appear on the body

Adult Mono

Adult mono symptoms tend to be more severe than those in children and teenagers. Fatigue will probably be the most noticeable symptom if you are suffering from the infection. It can take months to get your energy levels back up. Adults can suffer from the same symptoms as teenagers with mono do, but some added mono symptoms could appear. These include:

  • Jaundice
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath.

Typically, symptoms will last 2 to 4 weeks, but full recovery can take months.

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