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by Alan R

(Infectious Mononucleosis; Mono)



There is no treatment to cure mononucleosis or to shorten the length of the illness. It usually runs its course in 4-6 weeks, although the fatigue may last longer.
During the first few weeks after diagnosis, you should avoid contact sports. Inflammation of the spleen from mononucleosis puts you at high risk of splenic rupture. This can require surgery. In rare cases, it can be fatal.
Treatment includes:

Relief of Symptoms

Symptoms can be eased by:
  • Taking nonprescription pain relievers to lessen aches and pains and control fever
  • Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children with a current or recent viral infection. Check with your doctor before giving your child aspirin.
  • Gargling with warm, salty water to relieve sore throat
Steroids are sometimes used if the swelling in the throat is interfering with breathing. They can also be used if a complication involving low platelet counts or anemia occurs.


Follow these comfort measures:
  • Get plenty of rest and fluids
  • Do not lift anything heavy or exercise for at least several weeks after recovery to decrease the risk of rupturing an enlarged spleen
  • Avoid contact or collision sports while you have symptoms or an enlarged spleen


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases



About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children

The College of Family Physicians of Canada



Balfour HH Jr, Hokanson KM, et al. A virologic pilot study of valacyclovir in infectious mononucleosis. J Clin Virol. 2007;39:16-21.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated mononucleosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated September 30, 2013. Accessed August 27, 2014.

Luzuriaga K, Sullivan JL. Infectious mononucleosis. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 27;362(21):1993-2000.

Mononucleosis. Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: Updated March 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.


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