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Mono is short for infectious mononucleosis. This disease is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but other viruses may also cause it. Mono is most common with teenagers and young adults, with one out of four all of young people who get infected with EBV developing mono.1

There is no vaccine to defend against mono. However, you may protect yourself and others by not kissing anyone infected with it. This is where it gets its nickname, the “kissing disease.” You also shouldn’t share drinks, food, makeup or a toothbrush with anyone who is infected with this disease.

While some people will get better in two to four weeks, some may have symptoms for six months or longer.

If you feel that you have mono, visit your neighborhood MedExpress. We can examine you and may give you a test that will confirm if you have infectious mononucleosis.

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Schedule an appointment online or walk in any time from 8 to 8 every day.


For your convenience, we accept most major insurance, most of which cover mono treatment. To verify that your insurance is in-network, visit the Plan Your Visit page. We also offer a discount to those patients who choose to pay in full for their visit at the time of service. Self-pay services are $199.

Mono Symptoms

A mother taking care of sick teenager

If you are infected with EBV or another virus that causes mono, you will see the following symptoms within 4-6 weeks:1

  • Fever      
  • High level of fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Head and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen liver, spleen or both     
  • Rash 

Several of these symptoms may seem like a cold or the flu. However, mono also causes swollen lymph nodes, liver, spleen and a rash. Providers usually diagnose infectious mononucleosis based on these symptoms but can also conduct a blood test if you have more extreme symptoms such as:1

  • Higher or more unusual-looking white blood cells (lymphocytes) than normal
  • Less than the normal neutrophils or platelets   
  • Abnormal liver function

 What can you do to reduce your symptoms? Much like a cold or the flu, relieving symptoms and getting better starts with doing the following:1

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting adequate rest
  • Taking over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat pain and fever

Antibiotics are not effective against mono, as it is caused by a virus. Taking antibiotics for mono may cause an itchy rash to develop.2

 To ensure that you get well, avoid the following:1      

  • Penicillin antibiotics such as ampicillin or amoxicillin
  • Aspirin shouldn’t be given to children and teens, as it may lead to Reyes Syndrome
  • Contact sports, as your spleen may become enlarged, which increases the chance of rupture

 A ruptured spleen is rare in people who have mono, but you should still know the symptoms:2

  • Sharp pain in the left part of your chest
  • Feeling lightheaded and confused
  • Blurry vision
  • Fainting

 If you have any of the following symptoms, seek care immediately:2

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • A fever of 101.5 degrees or higher
  • Severe headache
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eye color) 

There’s no vaccine for mono, so if you’re concerned about your kids catching it, remind them to never share food or drinks with anyone else.
Frequent handwashing is always important, as washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds removes many of the germs we encounter. If you or your children don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Is Mono Contagious?

Yes. The viruses that cause mono are spread when bodily fluids such as saliva, mucus, blood and semen are exchanged between an infected and uninfected person.2

If you have mono, you need to isolate yourself to protect others. You will remain contagious as long as you have symptoms, which can last anywhere from 2–4 weeks to even 6 months or longer.3

Based on the severity of your symptoms, your provider may recommend treatment of specific organ systems that have been impacted by the disease. In cases like this, you may experience longer symptoms like fatigue.

If you feel that you have mono, schedule an appointment online or just walk into your neighborhood MedExpress. We’ll diagnose your symptoms and get you back to feeling better.


1 CDC. About Infectious Mononucleosis. Last updated September 28, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2023.

2 American Academy of Family Physicians. Mononucleosis. Last updated August 19, 2022. Accessed December 13, 2023.

3 Nemours Teen Health. How Long is Mono Contagious? Last updated January 2020. Accessed December 13, 2023.

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