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Mononucleosis (Mono)

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When To Call a Doctor

If you have been diagnosed with mono, seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain in the upper left part of your abdomen. This may mean that your spleen camera.gif has ruptured. Rupture of an enlarged spleen caused by mono is rare. It is most likely to happen because of a blow to the abdomen.4
  • Your tonsils become so swollen that you find it difficult to breathe or swallow.

If you have not been diagnosed with mono and you have a severe sore throat that has lasted longer than 2 to 3 days after trying home treatment, call your doctor in 1 to 2 days.

If you have not been diagnosed with mono and have tried home treatment for 7 to 10 days, contact your doctor if you have:

Watchful waiting

Most cases of mono do not require treatment, but you still need to take care of yourself until the illness goes away. You should see your doctor to make sure your symptoms are not caused by a treatable infection, such as strep throat. If it is certain you have mono:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Gargle with salt water or use throat lozenges to soothe your throat.
  • Take nonprescription pain relievers to reduce fever and relieve a sore throat and headaches.
  • Avoid contact sports and heavy lifting for 4 weeks after you become ill with mono (or until a doctor tells you it is okay). Mono can cause your spleen to enlarge, and these activities can increase your risk for injuring your spleen.

Who to see

The following health professionals can diagnose and treat mono:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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