ZocdocAnswersAm I more contagious when the symptoms of mono are present?

Question

Am I more contagious when the symptoms of mono are present?

I had mono last year and now the symptoms are back. Does this mean that I am more contagious right now than I would normally be?

Answer

Mono, or infectious mononucleosis, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein Barr virus. The virus is very common, and most people have had the infection by the time they are adults. The classical symptoms of mono, and the infection, are most common in teenagers and young adults. After you have had mono, you are actually immune to the condition a second time. So it very unlikely that the symptoms you are experiencing right now are due to mono. However, there are many other infections, most of them common viral infections, that can cause similar mono-like symptoms. Most of these viruses, just like mono, would also be contagious at the same time that the symptoms are present, so you should definitely take care around other people to avoid passing the infection. Also you should see your primary care doctor. They can perform a quick examination and help determine what might be the particular cause of your symptoms right now and, more importantly, if there is any treatment that is needed. If they decide that this is just another common viral infection, then they will probably just encourage you to take it easy, as it is possible that no specific treatment will be needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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