Does Mono Go Away?

Reviewed on 1/11/2022

Mononucleosis is usually not a serious illness and it typically goes away on its own with home care within one to four weeks without complications.
Mononucleosis is usually not a serious illness and it typically goes away on its own with home care within one to four weeks without complications. 

Mono,” short for infectious mononucleosis, is a contagious infection that can cause fever, sore throat, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. 

Mononucleosis is usually not a serious illness and it typically goes away on its own with home care within one to four weeks without complications. In some cases, symptoms such as fatigue may persist for several weeks. Rarely, symptoms of mono last six months or more. 

6 Home Remedies for Mono Symptoms

The goal of treatment for mono is relief of symptoms. Home remedies to ease symptoms of mono may include: 

  • Drinking fluids 
  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain and fever
  • Avoid contact sports until full recovery
    • Mono may cause the spleen enlarge and strenuous activities such as contact sports may cause the spleen to rupture

Mono is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not used to treat it. There are currently no effective antiviral medications used to treat or cure Epstein-Barr virus.

What Are Symptoms of Mono?

Symptoms of mono (infectious mononucleosis) may start slowly, usually developing four to eight weeks after infection, and may include:

Swollen liver and/or spleen (less common)

How Do You Catch Mono?

The most common cause of mono (infectious mononucleosis) is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

The virus is usually spread through bodily fluids, including saliva, such as through:

  • kissing (mono is often called “the kissing disease”),
  • sharing eating utensils, or drinking from the same glass as someone infected with the virus.

It can also be spread through blood and semen during:

  • sexual contact,
  • blood transfusions, and
  • organ transplantations.

People are frequently exposed to EBV during childhood, though they may not realize it at the time because symptoms can be mild or nonexistent.

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose Mono?

  • Mono (infectious mononucleosis) is diagnosed with a patient history and physical examination. Mono is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and lab tests are not needed. 
  • In some cases, a blood test called the Monospot is used to confirm a diagnosis. However, the Monospot test often comes back with false negatives early in the illness so it’s not always reliable. 
  • Sometimes, additional blood tests may be used to identify the cause of illness in people who do not have typical cases of infectious mononucleosis.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.cdc.gov/epstein-barr/about-mono.html

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/infectious-mononucleosis-mono-in-adults-and-adolescents-beyond-the-basics?search=Infectious%20mononucleosis&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1