We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Mononucleosis

May also be called: Mono; Kissing Disease

Mononucleosis, or "mono," is an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common virus that most kids are exposed to at some point.

More to Know

Mono can develop at any age but most often occurs in teens ages 15-17 and adults in their twenties. Typical symptoms include fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (in the neck, underarms, or groin), and constant fatigue or weakness. Sore muscles, enlarged liver and spleen, skin rash, and loss of appetite also may occur. Infants and young kids infected with EBV usually have very mild symptoms or none at all.

Mono is spread through contact with saliva: kissing, coughing, sneezing, or sharing straws and eating utensils. For this reason, it is also commonly called the "kissing disease."

Mono symptoms usually go away on their own within 2-4 weeks but sometimes the fatigue and weakness lasts for months. The best treatment is plenty of rest and keeping hydrated. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve the fever and aching muscles.

Keep in Mind

Anyone with mono symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor. Most cases of mono aren't serious, but sometimes serious complications (like a ruptured spleen) do happen. If the spleen is swollen, contact sports should be avoided until the doctor says otherwise.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.