Mononucleosis (mono) is an infection. It's usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. People get it through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose and throat, and sometimes tears. A child can get mono if he or she kisses an infected person. Or a child may get it after sharing a glass, fork, or spoon with someone who has mono.
Symptoms include a high fever and a very sore throat. Your child may also have swollen glands and tonsils and feel weak and tired.
Sometimes the virus causes the spleen to swell. The spleen is an organ in the upper left side of the belly. If it ruptures, it's an emergency. So it's important for your child to avoid rough sports or challenging activities while he or she has mono. These can put extra pressure on the spleen.
It takes time to recover from mono. The lymph nodes in your child's neck may be larger than normal for up to 1 month. Most children get better after several weeks. But it could take several months before your child's normal energy is back. Lots of rest will help him or her feel better.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
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