ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of mononucleosis?

Question

What are the symptoms of mononucleosis?

What are the exact symptoms of mononucleosis? Is there a good, reliable way to tell it apart from the flu? My teenage daughter had mono a while back, and I know there's some sort of incubation period, but I've also been exposed to the cold and flu around my office. How can I tell what I have?

Answer

Mononucleosis can be a tough infection to get through. Physicians that treat mononucleosis include primary care physicians such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. Mononucleosis is an infection with the Epstein Barr Virus. It causes fever, fatigue, muscle soreness, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat that will appear red (like strep throat), and a large spleen. Probably the most defining feature that would separate it from the flu is that the flu is shorter, and the sore throat associated with mononucleosis is more pronounced. If the diagnosis is in question, simple blood tests can be done to show an Epstein Barr virus infection. Keep in mind that mono is typically spread through sharing saliva (that's why its called the kissing disease). This is why it is not spread between family members as easily as the flu. I suggest you schedule and appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can gather a detailed history of your symptoms while obtaining a thorough physical exam. Depending on the duration of your symptoms, Your doctor may decide to get some blood work to look for evidence of an infection. Either way, you will eventually get better on your own. Good luck.

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