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Infectious mononucleosis, also known as mononucleosis, "mono," or glandular fever, is characterized by swollen lymph glands and chronic fatigue.
Infectious mononucleosis is either caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or the cytomegalovirus, both of which are members of the herpes simplex virus family. Consider the following statistics:
Mononucleosis usually lasts for one to two months. The following are the most common symptoms of mononucleosis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Once a person has had mononucleosis, the virus remains dormant in the throat and blood cells for the rest of that person's life. Once a person has been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus, a person is usually not at risk for developing mononucleosis again.
The symptoms of mononucleosis may resemble other medical conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
A diagnosis of mononucleosis is usually based on reported symptoms. However, diagnosis can be confirmed with specific blood tests and other laboratory tests, including:
Mononucleosis is often spread through contact with infected saliva from the mouth. Symptoms can take between four to six weeks to appear and usually do not last beyond four months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Transmission is impossible to prevent, according to the CDC, because even symptom-free people can carry the virus in their saliva.
Treatment for mononucleosis may include: