How Serious Is Mononucleosis?

It’s safe to say that while you might not have heard of mononucleosis before, you’ve probably heard of its more common, abbreviated term, “mono,” before.

Mono is a common illness, and it’s most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Teens and young adults are most susceptible to getting the virus.

Read on to learn more about mono from our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team.

What Causes Mono?

Mono can be caused by many different viruses, but like we said earlier, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause. Mono is commonly referred to as the “kissing disease” because it is transmitted through bodily fluids, like saliva. In fact, almost 90% of people will have had mono by age 35, although many will simply be carriers of the virus, rather than experiencing mono symptoms.

Even so, many who get the virus will experience mono symptoms, and we’ve listed the most common ones to expect below.

Common Mono Symptoms

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Head and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen liver or spleen or both
  • Rash

Is Mono a Cause for Serious Concern?

Not usually. Most symptoms of mono typically go away on their own in around two to four weeks, but some symptoms—namely, extreme fatigue—can last for longer. In some cases, extreme fatigue can last for up to six months.

The most serious—albeit, rare—complication that comes from mono is a ruptured spleen. Although an enlarged spleen does happen in some cases of mono, it isn’t common; however, an enlarged spleen can rupture in severe cases, which can lead to internal bleeding in the abdomen.

When to Call a Doctor

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Extreme muscle weakness in arms or legs
  • Intense body aches
  • High fever that won’t go away
  • Severe headaches
  • Sharp pain in the upper left abdomen

Whether you’re dealing with mono or aches and pains, our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team is here for you seven days a week! Don’t hesitate to visit us today.


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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