Does Mono Have a Long-Term Impact on the Immune System?

Did you know? Nearly everyone will come in contact with the Epstein-Barr virus—the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, or “mono,” for short.

Mono is no walk in the park to deal with, but also isn’t typically a cause for much concern if you do happen to get it. Symptoms often clear up in about a month.

However, some people claim that mono has had a long-term effect on their immune system. Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team uncovers more info about mono below, so keep reading!

What Causes Mono?

Mono can be caused by many different viruses, but like we said earlier, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause. Mono is commonly referred to as the “kissing disease” because it is transmitted through bodily fluids, like saliva.

Although most people will come in contact with EBV, the virus won’t cause symptoms in lots of cases, due to the virus’ long incubation period. However, the symptoms that do occur during EBV infection make up mono, and we’ve listed them below.

Common Mono Symptoms

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Head and body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen liver or spleen or both
  • Rash

Is Mono a Recurring Infection?

It’s not usually. EBV lies dormant in the body after causing mono, and, in rare cases, it can reactivate and cause symptoms again. You probably won’t have any symptoms, though, unless you have an already-weakened immune system. Mono itself doesn’t weaken the immune system.

In even rarer cases, mono can lead to something called chronic active EBV (CAEBV) disease. This is a serious condition in which mono symptoms last longer than six months. If you experience this or any of the symptoms we’ve listed below, seek medical attention.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Extreme muscle weakness in arms or legs
  • Intense body aches
  • High fever that won’t go away
  • Severe headaches
  • Sharp pain in the upper left abdomen

Have further questions about mono? We can provide the answers you’re looking for! Don’t hesitate to call or visit our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team today.