Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono) - Causes

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Most cases of mononucleosis occur in the 15-24 age group. How did you or your child "catch" mono?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

What is the cause of mono?

The EBV that causes mono is found throughout the world. By the time most people reach adulthood, an antibody against EBV can be detected in their blood. In the U.S., up to 95% of adults 35-40 years of age have antibodies directed against EBV. This means that most people, sometime in their lives, have been infected with EBV. The body's immune system produces antibodies to attack and help destroy invading viruses and bacteria. These specific antibodies can be detected in the blood of people who have been infected.

When infection occurs in childhood, the virus most often produces no symptoms. It is estimated that only about 10% of children who become infected with EBV develop the illness. Likewise, probably because of immunity from prior infection, adults typically do not develop the illness. Most cases of infectious mononucleosis occur in the 15-24 age group.

While there are other illnesses falling under the broad classification of mononucleosis that can cause similar symptoms (cytomegalovirus [CMV] infection is one example) and an increase in blood lymphocytes, the form caused by the EBV is by far the most common.

Return to Infectious Mononucleosis

See what others are saying

Comment from: NikiC, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

When I was 13 and in high school, I took a drag of someone's cigarette before she knew she had mononucleosis, and it was the worst sickness I have ever had in my life. It took months for the tiredness to fade and my spleen to shrink to normal size. I don't think I was ever so skinny as after mono because I couldn't keep anything down for a few weeks.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: rain, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 12

My grandson is 15 years old and has mononucleosis. He is a wrestler/football player and enjoys all sports. Two weeks ago, after a wrestling tournament he developed a sore throat and swollen glands in his neck. He looked like he had mumps and his sinuses were infected. I took him to the doctor to rule out strep throat. He came home and his throat hurt so bad I was giving him tea and honey all day with other stuff. When he went back to school he went to the nurse, she told him he had all the signs of mono and should not wrestle. We went back to the doctor for a mono test and it was positive. His neck went down from the ibuprofen and fluticasone propionate nasal spray, however he is now tired a lot and has a pain in his right leg, maybe because he does not take the ibuprofen anymore.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!