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The Most Common Symptoms of Mono

written by: CamillaPeters • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/31/2010

Mono, also known as mononucleosis, is a very common infection that is usually brought on by the Epstein-Barr virus. Because it is transmitted through saliva from person to person, mono is commonly called “the kissing disease."

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    Kissing is not the only way to contract mono, however, as one can catch it by drinking after another person or sharing lipstick or lip balm. It can also be contracted through using another person’s toothbrush or using the same utensil as someone who has the infection. Some people can have the virus in their bodies and suffer no symptoms while passing it on to others.

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    Severe Fatigue

    Severe fatigue is a symptom associated with every symptomatic case of mono. KidsHealth from Nemours explains that fatigue symptoms can be so severe that one could have a hard time raising his head from a pillow. Because this virus is so common in school-aged children, many children will have a hard time completing school work or even attending school. This symptom can last for several months after the initial infection sets in.

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    Swollen Lymph Nodes

    The lymph nodes play an essential role in the body’s natural line of defense. They produce white blood cells to help fight infection in the body. When the virus that causes mono is present, the lymph nodes in the throat will swell from an overproduction of white blood cells. It is common for the lymph nodes to remain swollen for several months after all other symptoms have abated, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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    Fever

    MedlinePlus explains that the fever associated with mono can become very high and can last up to ten days. The body will try and kill off the infection that is present by sending large amounts of white blood cells to its tissues. The result is a rush of action inside the body, which will cause the body temperature to rise.

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    Sore Throat

    One of the first symptoms of mono is sore throat. This sore throat may cause the feeling of swallowing glass because it is so severe. This can cause a decrease in appetite and could lead to weight loss. It can also be hard for one to swallow due to the enlarged lymph nodes. Some people develop strep throat along with the mono, making it even harder to deal with this symptom.

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    Body Aches

    The body aches that occur with mono are usually present at the same time as the fatigue. Some people mistake these two symptoms as symptoms of the flu or an extremely severe cold. The body aches will subside within a few weeks of infection.

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    Abdominal Pain

    Mono causes the spleen to swell. The spleen is the dumping ground for all of the things filtered out of the blood, and it will become overworked with this infection. This causes abdominal pain that can range from mild to severe. If the person is hit in the stomach during this time, it is possible for the spleen to rupture, causing serious health issues and even death.