I know that you’ve probably heard about it and know of at least one person who has it…the infamous, MONO! So what exactly is it and how do you avoid it?
Infectious Mononucleosis (mono) is a viral infection that causes fever, sore throat, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, and cold-like symptoms. It is very prevalent on college campuses because it most commonly occurs in adolescents and young adults. It is not generally considered a serious illness, but it can lead to significant time away from school and work due to severe fatigue.
Mono is spread from person to person through contact with saliva; such as kissing and sharing of eating utensils or drinking glasses with a person who is sick with mono. Many people believe that they are bound to get mono when their friend or roommate is diagnosed. This is a big misconception. Mono is only spread through contact with saliva. It is not airborne nor is it spread from shaking hands or hugging. You can help prevent the spread of mono by washing your hands frequently and not sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils with anyone.
Mono is a viral illness; therefore, antibiotics are not used for treatment. Also, there are no antiviral medications to treat it. The treatment plan includes, getting plenty of REST, staying well hydrated, and taking Tylenol/Advil as needed. Students can return to school whenever they feel better. Symptoms usually improve within one to two weeks. Most people recover from the severe fatigue within two to four weeks; however, for some it can last for several weeks to months. Adequate rest is extremely important.
Many people with mono can develop an enlarged spleen, which can last for a few weeks or longer. Because of this, it is recommended to avoid sports activities or heavy lifting for approximately four weeks.
If you have any further questions about mono, please feel free to call Student Health Services at 504.865.3326 or stop by our clinic located in the lower level of the Danna Student Center, just below the Orleans Room.