Most people who get mono are between the ages of 15 and 25, but younger kids can get it, too. The mono virus affects the lymph nodes, throat, salivary glands, liver, spleen, and blood, and it can make a person feel tired and achy all over.
Mono is contagious, which means children can spread the virus to other people who haven't had mono before. Even though children can get mono from kissing someone infected with EBV, there are other ways they can get it, but they all involve contact with saliva. Sharing pillows, straws, toothbrushes, or food from the same plate can also spread mono.
At first, people usually don't feel sick after getting infected with the EBV virus. So someone could have mono — and be spreading it — and not even know it. That's why it's important not to share things like forks, straws, water bottles, or lip gloss at school.
* sore throat
* swollen lymph nodes (the infection-fighting glands in your neck, underarms, groin, and elsewhere throughout your body)
* sore muscles
* enlarged liver or spleen
Sometimes, it may seem like a child has the flu or maybe strep throat because the symptoms are so much alike. The only way to tell for sure if is to go to a doctor, who will examine and draw blood for tests.
Usually with mono a child will need plenty of rest. This might mean no school for a while, no sports, and no running outside playing with friends or even wrestling with a little brother. While a child is resting, it's a good idea to drink plenty of water and other fluids.
Mono usually goes away after a few weeks. Make sure children wash their hands after they cough or sneeze.
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About Abraham Tekola, MD
Dr. Abrham Tekola practices family medicine in Carmichael, California.