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What Is Mono and What Are the Symptoms?

So, what is mono, and what are the symptoms? American Family Care has answers, and treatment, for you. 

Mononucleosis (mono) is an infectious viral disease most commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but other viruses can also cause it. Also sometimes known as the “kissing disease,” mono is spread through saliva and can even be passed from person to person from sharing cutlery and utensils.

According to the CDC, mono occurs mainly among teenagers and young adults, especially college students. The CDC indicates that at least one out of four young adults exposed to EBV will contract infectious mononucleosis. 


What Is the Epstein-Barr Virus?

Also known as herpesvirus 4, EBV is a member of the family of herpes viruses. Many people get infected with EBV at some point in their lives, and it spreads primarily through saliva and other bodily fluids like semen and blood. The virus is typically known to cause infectious mononucleosis but can also cause other illnesses. 

Most people get infected with EBV when they are children; sometimes, symptoms aren’t apparent. Older people, like teenagers and adults, will usually develop signs and can expect to get better within two to four weeks. 

After you become infected with EBV, the virus becomes inactive but remains in your body. This means that if you have a weakened immune system, you may experience symptoms if the virus becomes active again, but this isn’t always the case. 


Symptoms of Mono in Adults

Typical symptoms of mono in adults are seen four to six weeks after infection by EBV and may appear slowly and occur at different times. 

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of infectious mononucleosis:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Head and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in armpits and neck
  • Rash

Some less common mono flare-up symptoms include an enlarged liver and spleen. The CDC indicates that some people may have a swollen liver or spleen even after the fatigue has passed. 

Most people infected with mono recover in two to four weeks, but they may experience fatigue for up to several weeks. In some rare cases, the CDC indicates that the symptoms of mono can remain for at least six months after infection. 


Treatment for Mono

It is not recommended that antibiotics are taken in the treatment of mono, as it is a viral infection. Your healthcare provider will often suggest ways to help relieve symptoms and support your body in getting well again. Some of these may include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Giving your body lots of rest. 
  • You can also take over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. 

Mono Testing and Diagnosis

Can I get tested for mono without symptoms? Typically, no; healthcare providers like AFC usually diagnose mono based on symptoms, but in some cases, it is necessary to have lab testing done. The CDC indicates that the bloodwork of patients with mono will usually show the following:

  • More white blood cells than normal.
  • Atypical-looking white blood cells.
  • Less than normal platelets.
  • Abnormal liver function

About American Family Care Centers

Our urgent care clinics have on-site labs where you can get your results in hours, or days, depending on the test. Our testing works on a walk-in basis, so you don’t even have to book an appointment to get tested for mono. 

Here are a few of the on-site laboratory services we offer at our walk-in clinics: 

  • STD testing
  • Blood testing
  • Flu diagnosis
  • Strep throat diagnosis
  • Arthritis diagnosis
  • Mononucleosis diagnosis
  • Thyroid disease diagnosis
  • Urinalysis drug testing
  • Microscopies full lab panels

American Family Care is a leading provider of affordable and convenient urgent care services. Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment while respecting the rights of all patients, in an economical manner, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

All AFC clinics are designed, equipped, and staffed to provide accessible primary care, urgent care, minor emergency treatment, and occupational medicine. We are considered pioneers in non-emergency room urgent care, with most of our patients coming in, receiving care, and returning home in one hour on average.

What sets us apart from other urgent care clinics are our on-site technology and health services, which include:

  • Physicians
  • Digital X-rays
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic procedures
  • Electronic medical record keeping
  • Highly trained teams of doctors, nurses, and support staff 
  • Clinical lab testing

Do you think you may have contracted mononucleosis? Find your nearest AFC location to get tested and receive treatment today. 

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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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