Is Mono A Lifelong Disease?

Mono or mononucleosis is an infectious disease caused by a virus named Epstein-Barr virus. It is a common disease characterized by a period of symptoms followed by a session of tiredness. It is less common than common cold or flu. Its symptoms are quite similar to flu. Anyone can catch this infection usually in their  teenage and may represent its symptom in adult age. It is a mild form of infection and usually goes by itself. In chronic cases, it may remain more than 6 months and even up to the whole life.

Is Mono A Lifelong Disease?

Is Mono A Lifelong Disease?

Mono usually goes on its own. It ends in four or more months. Its symptoms disappear in two to four weeks in the majority of patients. In rare cases, it may last for 6 or more months.

The mono infection can become chronic if it remains for six months or more. The causative virus (EBV virus) remains dormant in the blood cells lifelong. It can reactivate anytime without symptoms. It is contagious when it is reactivated. It may spread through contact with saliva.

In a few cases of Mono, the EBV virus causes lifelong infection in the body. The immune system cannot fight it in such cases. In rarest cases, the virus can result in rare cancers such as Burkitt’s lymphoma or nasopharyngeal carcinoma. These cancers are triggered by EBV virus. This virus is one of the factors that can cause these cancers.

Mononucleosis also is known as mono. It is a contagious disease caused by an Epstein-Barr virus (EPV). This disease is also known as kissing disease. It is not a serious illness but it can cause complications that can be serious in a few cases. It affects mostly teenage children. However, it can develop at any age. It does not interfere with the normal activities of affected people. It is less contagious than a common cold. It usually resolves by itself in one to two months in many cases.


The symptoms do not appear immediately after infection. The duration between catching the infection and appearance of the symptoms is known as the incubation period. It may take four to six weeks to end. The symptoms may remain for one or two months after its appearance.

The symptoms of mono are-

  • Fever
  • Soreness in the throat
  • Swelling in the lymph glands in the neck and armpits
  • Sweating at the nights
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Swelling in the tonsils

It rarely leads to swelling in the spleen and liver. Its symptoms are very similar to Flu.


Mono is a mild illness. Rarely, it causes serious harm to health. In certain cases, secondary infections like sinus infections, strep throat or tonsillitis may appear due to mono.
The complications of mono are-

Enlargement Of The Spleen– mono brings tiredness. One should not do any vigorous activity like lifting heavy objects, strenuous exercises or contact sports. This may harm the spleen. The infected spleen may rupture and may require emergency treatment. It is characterized by a sharp sudden pain in the upper part of the left side of the abdomen.

Inflammation Of The Liver– in rare cases, inflammation of the liver may happen that may cause yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) or inflammation of the liver (hepatitis).

Anemia– in rare conditions, the red blood cells count drop resulting in symptoms of anemia.

Heart Affections– it may cause inflammation of the heart.

Thrombocytopenia– it may reduce the count of platelets in the blood leading to problems related to clotting.

Tonsillitis– it may cause severe inflammation in the throat that may interfere with breathing.


Mono is a common viral infection that affects people mostly in their teenage. It is usually a mild disease that resolves on its own. In some chronic cases, it may become lifelong disease mostly without symptoms.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 3, 2024

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