About Mono

Do I have Mono? 

Teenage boy sick with mono

I woke up this morning with the worst sore throat I've ever had.  My neck glands are a little swollen and sore.  I'm more tired than usual and, like, I sort of ache all over.

Common Symptoms

  • Inflammation of the back of the throat 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Fever 
  • Sore throat 
  • Headache 
  • Swollen spleen 

Hey! I might have Mono.  What should I do?

Monospot Kit

If you think you might have Mono, go to the student health service or your personal medical clinic and let them check you out.  Doctors can't tell for sure if you have Mono just by examining you, but they can order blood tests such as a "Monospot" to confirm your diagnosis.  If you have Mono, they will want to follow you carefully while your illness lasts, which is usually 2 to 3 weeks.  They may prescribe some medications to help you feel better, but there is no proven specific treatment.  The best advice for Mono patients is to take it as easy as possible until your symptoms go away.

What causes Mono?

model structure of EBV

Mono is caused almost always by your first infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a member of the human herpesvirus family.  Once you acquire EBV, it remains with you but rarely causes problems after you recover from Mono. Most people acquire EBV from kissing, which has earned it the name of the "kissing disease."

Updated: 12/3/2018

Impact of EBV

280,000 cases of mono in U.S college freshmen annually

200,000 new cases of EBV-associated cancers annually worldwide

2.3 million cases of multiple sclerosis worldwide

Donate to The Mono Project

Supported in part by generous grants from the HRK Foundation, the RM Schulze Family Foundation, the Matt Cwiertny Memorial Foundation and the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.