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Mononucleosis, often referred to as "mono," is a very common viral illness. About 90 percent of people over age 35 have antibodies to mono in their blood, which means that they have been infected with it, probably during early childhood. When mono strikes young children, the illness is usually so mild that it passes as a common cold or the flu. When it occurs during adolescence or adulthood, however, the disease can be much more serious.

Mono comes on gradually. It begins with flu-like symptoms -- fever, headache and a general malaise and lethargy. After a few days, the lymph glands -- especially those in the neck, armpits and groin -- begin to swell, although this symptom is not noticeable in everyone. Swollen glands in the back of the neck are especially typical of mono. Most people develop a sore throat, which can be very severe, with inflamed tonsils. A fever -- usually no higher than 104 F can also develop and may last up to three weeks. About 10 percent of people with mono develop a generalized red rash all over the body. Some people may notice red spots or darkened areas in the mouth, especially on the palate, that resemble bruises. In about half of all cases, the spleen may also enlarge, causing an area in the upper left abdomen to become tender to the touch.

Find out more about "mono" by clicking on the topics below.

    What is Mononucleosis?         What Are the Symptoms?    
    How is Mono Diagnosed?         How is Mono Spread?    
    Are There Complications?         How is Mono Treated?    

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12