Mono is typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is not considered serious by itself. There are complications that could occur, however, and may be more serious than the actual disease.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms include:
A fever and sore throat should subside within a few weeks, but the fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and swollen spleen may stick around for a few weeks longer. Some of the symptoms may bring complications that will require medical attention right away. Complications can include:
- Spleen enlargement – extreme cases may lead to spleen rupture, causing sharp, sudden pain on the left side of the upper abdomen, requiring immediate medical attention.
- Mild liver inflammation (hepatitis)
- Low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
- Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
- Nervous system complications
- Swollen tonsils
Complications are rare, but will be more prevalent in those who have impaired immune systems.
How is mono diagnosed?
Your medical provider will begin to suspect mono based on the signs and symptoms you are experiencing, but additional confirmation can be done through a blood test.
What is the treatment for mono?
Unfortunately, since mono is a viral infection, there are no medications for the specific treatment of mono. The best thing that can be done is getting plenty of bed rest, good nutrition, and drinking plenty of fluids. Certain antibiotics may be prescribed if a secondary infection develops, such as strep throat or a sinus infection, but medications such as amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives can cause a rash, even if the patient is not allergic to these drugs.