Mononucleosis, also termed as glandular fever, is an infectious ailment triggered by a type of herpes virus known as Epstein-Barr. This illness occurs predominantly in teenagers and young adults and is commonly referred to as “mono” or the “kissing disease”, the latter due to the spread of infection happening via saliva – a bodily fluid secreted in the oral cavity and transferred to other people while kissing, such as in the case of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea – induced by bacterial infection from Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Also Read: Gonorrhea: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Infectious Mononucleosis

In most cases, mononucleosis presents only with mild symptoms such as a minor headache and body pain and does not require advanced medical care. However, at times, severe signs such as extreme fatigue, high fever and even an enlarged spleen. It is hence advised to consult with a doctor and undergo appropriate treatment along with ample rest and fluid intake once signs of mono are noticed, to overcome viral infection and resume day-to-day activities with optimal productivity.

Also Read: Enlarged Spleen: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Symptoms Of Mononucleosis:

After the Epstein-Barr virus has invaded the body, it has an incubation period for 4 – 6 weeks, after which characteristic symptoms begin to arise, including:

  • Exhaustion, muscle aches and body weakness
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpits and neck
  • Rashes and blisters in the skin
  • Inflammation of the spleen
  • Swelling up of the tonsils, like in tonsillitis

If mononucleosis infection persists for many weeks, in certain cases, it results in grave health complications. These comprise enlargement of the spleen, with upper abdominal pain, rupturing and tissue damage, as well as liver conditions like hepatitis, jaundice. Moreover, if the viral particles diffuse into the bloodstream and spread to other bodily organs, tissues, further health anomalies arise such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, heart issues including myocarditis and nervous system maladies of meningitis, encephalitis.


The doctor initially assesses any external signs such as skin rashes, fatigue, body pain by means of an external physical exam, aside from enquiring about how long the patient has been experiencing the symptoms. The physician also examines the neck, armpits, abdomen, to check for swollen lymph nodes, inflamed tonsils, enlarged spleen.

A blood test is also carried out, wherein a sample of the patient’s blood is collected and probed for the presence of antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus, elevated white blood cell count or aberrant appearance of lymphocytes indicating a viral infection and immune response.


Once the diagnosis of mononucleosis is confirmed, the doctor recommends the pertinent treatment approach based on the severity of symptoms in the patient.

No particular prescription medicines are available to combat mononucleosis infection and antibiotics are not effective as mono is a viral ailment. Analgesics are given to help the patient deal with body pain, muscle aches, while prescription steroid drugs are given for severe inflammation of the tonsils triggering blockages in the airways.

The healthcare provider advises the patient to take rest at home, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables encompassing all essential nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals. To ease itchiness and irritation of sore throat, gargling with salt water at least 4 – 5 times a day is advised. These healthy lifestyle remedies aid in thwarting viral infection from the body and alleviates discomforting symptoms of mononucleosis in the patient.