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Why Does Mono Last So Long?

Why Does Mono Last So Long?

Mono is a viral infection which produces cold-like symptoms which may last for up to a few weeks and followed by a prolonged fatigue. The long-lasting disease does not cause major damage in most cases and does not require any treatment. The patients are still advised to see a physician to avoid any complications of the disease. Mono lasts longer than any other viral infections.

Mono, an infectious viral disease, is common in adolescents and young adults. The infection is transmitted from an infectious person to a healthy person by deep kissing. The infection is mostly caused by EBV, but in certain cases, CMV also seems to be the culprit. The symptom of Mono is similar to that of cold. There will be fever, sore throat and swelling of lymph nodes and tonsils. People often mistake this disease for the common cold. Antibiotics will not be helpful in Mono, only adequate rest and plenty of water can help you in relieving symptoms over a period of time. The symptoms of the disease do not appear immediately. The incubation period for the virus to completely resent its symptoms varies from 4- to 6 weeks. The symptoms fail to appear in children and symptoms of Mono often go unnoticed in many children. The duration of sickness is also less in children.

Why Does Mono Last So Long?

Mono gets transmitted by saliva, vaginal, seminal and other infected body fluids. It can also get transmitted by using utensils and glasses of the infected person. Healthy hygiene habits can be helpful in preventing many diseases including Mono. Wash your hands regularly and avoid sharing utensils.

Any microbial infection symptoms do not appear immediately. The virus acquires the body’s defense mechanism and starts producing its own viral material. This is often referred to as the incubation period wherein the virus grows and multiplies. The impaired functioning of the normal immune system produces symptoms of common cold, fever, and sore throat. It takes more than one month for the symptoms to appear in Mono. The immune system has to bounce back and fight the infection causing organisms. The whole process takes a long time in Mono when compared to other viral infections.

The viral infection can be seen as a fever and sore throat which gets subside in a couple of weeks. But fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes will take a longer time to recover. In severe cases, the spleen is enlarged and it can even rupture.

The symptoms of mono include drowsiness, fatigue, fever, discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling, muscle aches, and pain, drenching sweats, swollen tonsils, sore throat, loss of appetite and decreased weight for unknown reasons, lymph nodes in the neck and armpit region are swollen. Few people may also experience a cough, neck stiffness, nose bleed, rapid heart rate, skin rashes, and an enlarged spleen. The enlarged spleen may rupture and it will be an emergency situation requiring surgery. Enlargement of the liver is also seen. In severe cases, the complication of Mono can result in blockage of airways by the swollen lymph nodes It is not necessary that all individuals should present all the mentioned symptoms. Certain symptoms may be milder in nature and may even go unnoticed.

People suffering from Mono feel better after 2 to 4 weeks of the appearance of symptoms. But the fatigue can last longer. It may take even 6 months for the individual to be completely healthy after Mono. If the symptoms are persistent even also 6 months then the person is suffering from chronic EBV infection.

There can be a symptomatic treatment of mono in the form of analgesic and antipyretic medicines. Penicillin and ampicillin-class of antibiotics should not be administered in patients with Mono as it can develop rashes and worsen the condition in patients who already have a rash due to Mono.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono) https://www.cdc.gov/epstein-barr/about-mono.html
  2. Mayo Clinic. Mononucleosis (Mono) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mononucleosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350328
  3. American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Mononucleosis: What You Should Know https://familydoctor.org/condition/mononucleosis/

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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:January 16, 2024

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