DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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.
Epstein-Barr virus and infectious mononucleosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/ebv.htm. Accessed Aug. 25, 2012.
- Infectious mononucleosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec14/ch189/ch189f.html. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Long SS, et al. Long: Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9&isbn=978-1-4377-2702-9&uniqId=353862004-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-2702-9..00301-9. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Pickering LK, et al. Red Book Online. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2012. http://aapredbook.aappublications.org. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Aug. 26, 2012.