How To Know You Have Mono
Symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis are very much like those of many other common flu or cold viruses—so learning how to know you have Mono can be very important. "Mono"—or the “Kissing Disease” as it is often called, is a fairly common virus which affects mostly teens and young adults in high school or college. It is highly contagious through close contact and will infect younger children and adults as well. Because Mono is a virus, its symptoms are very much like those of other common flu or cold-like illnesses. In spite of the similarities, answering a few simple questions can get you on the way to a Mono diagnosis or relieve your worries.
- Is it your worst sore throat ever? Many people tend to exaggerate that a current illness is the absolute worst—but, the sore throats associated with the Mononucleosis virus are severe. Because the sore throat pain is so intense, many seek out a doctor to rule out strep throat and make the pain stop.
- Do you have a fever? No—not a low grade fever that lets you know that the body is roasting out the germ invaders, but a full blown 102 F to 104 F fever with chills and the works.
- Are there other signs of illness? Headache, body aches, and a general “ill feeling” are very common. Some Mono patients even have skin changes such as splotchy red rashes or yellowing of the skin and eyes.
- Are you tired or exhausted? Yes, viruses often tend to wipe out your energy levels—but, Mono takes the drained feeling to a whole new level. Mono sufferers typically want and need to sleep—a lot.
- Are your glands swollen? Swollen lymph glands in the neck will also often have small lumps that can be felt through the skin. Lymph glands will become enlarged as the body fights the infection—so there may be tenderness in the upper abdomen and arm pit areas as well.
If you think that this still sounds a lot like a massive case of a flu style virus—you are right, it does. These symptoms are common in the first few days of Mono—as well as in a host of other viral illnesses. What makes Mono different? Cases of Mononucleosis generally create more long lasting, severe symptoms that are just not as easy to ignore as a run of the mill 24 to 48 hour virus. To confirm that Mono is at fault, The Mayo Clinic advises that a doctor must run blood work and other tests to rule out any other possible causes.