Mononucleosis, sometimes call the “kissing disease” or simply “Mono”, is a viral infection that is transmitted through saliva and is very contagious.
In young children, mono is typically passes through children sharing drinks and putting toys in their mouths.
The symptoms of mono include a sore throat, swollen glands, fever, and a skin rash. Young children with mono tend to have milder symptoms than older children. Older children may have headaches, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, and a swollen spleen.
There are several viruses known to cause mono; however, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the number one cause of mono. The good news is that once you have been exposed to EBV, you become immune and cannot get mono again.
Mono is rarely dangerous and will usually subside with no lasting effects. In rare instances, complications can surface. There is danger of rupturing the spleen because it is already swollen. Because of this, it is recommended to refrain from any contact sport or play while infected with mono. Other complications that can arise are inflamed liver, jaundice, and swollen tonsils.
It’s difficult to protect your child from mono, because infected persons will sometimes have no symptoms. You can however, keep your child from spreading mono when they are infected, by keeping them home until they are well. It’s also important to keep them separate from other children in your home until the fever is gone.