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Mononucleosis (mono) is an infection. It's usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. People get it through contact with saliva and with mucus from the nose and throat. A child can get mono from kissing an infected person. Or a child may get it after sharing a glass, fork, or spoon with someone who has mono.
Symptoms include a 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 your child 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 a while. Most children get better after 2 to 4 weeks. But it could take several more weeks before your child's normal energy is back. Lots of rest will help your child 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice 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 advice line if:
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Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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