Known as “the kissing disease,” mono is an infection that can easily be spread to your child. Because of its nickname, you may think it’s unlikely your young child could catch this disease, but he or she is at risk as well. Below are a few key things you should know about mono and how you can protect your child from the disease.
Know the Basics
While kissing, or exchange of saliva from sharing food or utensils, can spread mononucleosis, called mono for short, it can also be transmitted via other bodily fluids.
Usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, mono typically has the same symptoms of the flu or strep throat, including fever, sore throat, constant fatigue, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and sore muscles. While symptoms will subside within four weeks, teenagers and adults may suffer fatigue for up to three months.
Who Is At Risk
Although the peak ages for infection are 15 to 17, infants and kids under age four are still at risk of the Epstein-Barr virus, but they may not show symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The most common way to diagnose mono is by a blood test. There is no specific treatment for mono, but it is treated symptomatically with Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
There is currently no vaccine for EBV, but there are a few things you can teach your child to do in an effort to prevent the virus, especially if a family or friend is infected with the disease.
- Wash hands regularly
- Do not share drinks or food
- Do not share a toothbrush
- Disinfect countertops, play toys and tabletops
- Use disposable cups and paper towels in the bathroom
If you believe your child may have mono, it’s a good idea to get a diagnosis from a medical professional. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, we provide quick, efficient service so you can avoid the typical hassle of a doctor’s visit.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.