Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Quick GuideInfectious Mononucleosis Pictures Slideshow

Infectious Mononucleosis Pictures Slideshow

What are the symptoms of mono?

The initial symptoms of mono are

These initial symptoms can last from one to three days before the more intense symptoms of the illness begin. The more common intense symptoms include

  • a severe sore throat and
  • fever, which may be persistent.

It is typically the severe sore throat that prompts people to contact their doctor.

What are the signs of mono?

In addition to a fever from 102 F-104 F, the most common signs of mono are

The tonsils have a whitish coating in at least one-third of the cases. The spleen (sometimes referred to as the body's biggest lymph node) is an organ found in the left upper abdomen underneath the rib cage, which becomes enlarged or swollen in about half of patients with mono. An enlarged liver and abnormalities in liver function tests (blood tests) may be detected (see Complications, below). Some of patients have a splotchy red rash over the body, which has a similar appearance to the rash of measles. Early in the course of disease (over the first few days of illness), a temporary swelling (edema) of both upper eyelids may appear.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/17/2016

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