Overview

Infectious mononucleosis (mono) is often called the kissing disease. The virus that causes mono is transmitted through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but you can also be exposed through a cough or sneeze, or by sharing a glass or food utensils with someone who has mono. However, mononucleosis isn't as contagious as some infections, such as the common cold.

You're most likely to get mononucleosis with all the signs and symptoms if you're an adolescent or young adult. Young children usually have few symptoms, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

If you have mononucleosis, it's important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are key to recovery.

Dec. 11, 2015
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Epstein-Barr virus infection. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  2. Sullivan JL. Clinical manifestations and treatment of Epstein-Barr virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  3. Aronson MD, et al. Infectious mononucleosis in adults and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  4. Epstein-Barr virus and infectious mononucleosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/epstein-barr/index.html. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  5. Infectious mononucleosis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/herpesviruses/infectious-mononucleosis. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.
  6. Reye's syndrome information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reyes_syndrome/reyes_syndrome.htm. Accessed Oct. 26, 2015.