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Infectious mononucleosis 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.
Mono may begin slowly with fatigue, a general ill feeling, headache, and sore throat. The sore throat slowly gets worse. Your tonsils become swollen and develop a whitish-yellow covering. Often, the lymph nodes in the neck are swollen and painful. A doctor can usually diagnose mono based on the presence of symptoms such as a fever, a sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. The age of the patient is also a good indicator, since mono usually occurs in teenagers. Blood tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Medical treatment for mononucleosis is generally reserved for those cases in which complications arise. Corticosteroids may be prescribed in rare cases of airway obstruction, hemolytic anemia, severe thrombocytopenia, and complications involving the heart and nerves.