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"Is mono the same thing as just having the flu for a long time?"

ZocdocAnswersIs mono the same thing as just having the flu for a long time?


I had all the symptoms of the flu and they went away for a few days and now they are back and it has been another week of the symptoms. Do I have mono? Is mono just having the flu for a long time?


The flu and "mono" are two different diseases. Both are transient infections that can sometimes cause similar symptoms. The "Flu" is referred to infection by the influenza virus that causes an illness and can be comprised of a variation of symptoms. Some common symptoms include fevers, chills, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, and cough. Most of the time, your body's immune system is able to fight off the influenza virus (or the flu) over a period of several weeks. "Mono" refers to a condition called "Infectious Mononucleosis." It can be caused by several viruses but is most commonly attributed to infection by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include fatigue, headache, sore throat, weakness and lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes, which can be felt as bumps under the skin usually in and around your neck). Mono is also generally self limiting and is usually successfully fought off by your body's immune system. It is important to remember that antibiotics don't have any role in treating either of these infections, because they're both caused by viruses (antibiotics help with bacterial infections, not viral infections). To determine whether or not you have mono, you should see your primary care doctor, who can draw some blood work or swab your throat for a culture and test for mono, as well as other possible causes of your illness.

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