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 white 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: micdob, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

Approximately 5 to 6 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with 3 pulmonary embolisms. Just last week I was ill with the flu and infectious mononucleosis. The doctor said I probably came in contact with an asymptomatic carrier.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: KatsB14, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I was just tested positive for mononucleosis earlier this week after suffering from what I thought were cold symptoms. I didn"t realize until the day I went to the clinic that this might be something more serious. I have a severe sore throat that makes it almost impossible to swallow anything, white patches on the back of the throat, fatigue, and lack of appetite. The only thing that I never got (or still haven"t gotten yet) is a fever. I"m pretty sure I caught it from my college professor, who still came into work sick, with a really sore throat and severe fatigue. I haven"t had a good night's sleep in about 4 days because whenever I unconsciously swallow, it hurts so much that it wakes me up, and I can"t get back to sleep. I have never had a sickness like this, and I hope that this sore throat will go away soon! I can hardly speak!

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

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