Most people misidentify mononucleosis, more commonly known as mono, as the kissing disease. While kissing can spread mono, coughing, sneezing or any other contact with the saliva of someone who’s been infected can also spread it. While symptoms will typically go away on their own within a few weeks, it’s important that you know if your child has mono so he or she can get enough rest and fluids.
Symptoms of Mono
Because mono symptoms are so similar to that of the flu and strep throat (sore throat, fever, fatigue), the virus is often misidentified. However, additional symptoms of mono include headaches, sore muscles, swollen tonsils, skin rash and abdominal pain. Some kids with mono may have a combination of these symptoms, while others experience very mild symptoms.
Monitoring Mono with Sports
Because so many kids who get mono are involved in sports of some sort, it’s important you know how to handle the situation. Because mono is often associated with enlargement of the spleen, it’s recommended that kids who get mono stay away from sports for at least one month after the onset of symptoms. In addition to sports, kids who have mono should also avoid vigorous activity of any kind.
Preventing and Treating Mono
While there is no vaccine for mono, there are efforts your child can take to avoid getting the virus. Teach your child to wash their hands regularly, to never share utensils and to never drink after someone else. If your child does contract the virus, he or she should get plenty of rest and fluids. While ibuprofen and acetaminophen can both help relieve a fever and aching muscles, aspirin should be avoided as it can lead to liver failure or even death when given to a child with a viral illness.
If you believe your child has mono, a doctor should see him or her as soon as possible. At Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, our staff is highly qualified and will treat your child with the utmost care.
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.