Signs And Symptoms Of Mono In Adults

Welcome to our knowledgeable article on signs and symptoms of mono in adults. Mono is also known as “mononucleosis” a very common viral infection that usually affects teenagers and adults. The second very popular name of this mono is “kissing disease”. Now may be you thinking about How do you get mono by kissing? In this blog I’m going to discuss signs of mono and how is mono diagnosed? Because understanding the symptoms of mono is very crucial for appropriate treatment.

symptoms of mono

What Is Mono?

Mononucleosis is also known as a short name “mono”. It is a contagious disease that is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This disease is commonly found in teenagers and young adults. However it can affect people of all ages whether you are a kid, teenager or adult. Now the question arises: How do you get mono? 

Mono is spread through the saliva that is why people usually call this “kissing disease”. Other causes of mono is sharing food or drinks, utensils with someone who is already infected by this disease. If you notice mononucleosis symptoms in you then it’s important to be aware of some complications such as enlarged spleen. Proper rest and enough fluids are crucial keys to recovery. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Mono In Adults?

Intensity and duration in the symptoms of mono can be different for all individuals. Here are some very common mononucleosis symptoms such as – 

1. Fatigue

If you feel extreme tiredness for several days then it can be a hallmark symptom of mono. Adults may experience continuous feelings of exhaustion that don’t improve with rest.

2. Fever

Fever is the second most common symptom of mono that usually occurs with infections. The Epstein-Barr virus affects the defense mechanism which can develop mild to moderate fever. A mild to moderate fever is usually present, which occurs because they feel chills and sweats.

3. Sore Throat

Sore throat is a well known symptom of mono which can cause severe throat discomfort and swelling, it can create difficulty in swallowing and speaking which can affect your daily activities.

4 Swollen Lymph Nodes

Swollen lymph nodes can be found in any part of the body but generally found in the neck, armpits, and groin. It can become swollen and tender.

5. Body Aches

When adults suffer from mono, they usually feel muscle and joint pain as a cluster of symptoms. These pain can be mild for some individuals or can be high discomfort for others. The muscle aches are also known as ‘myalgia’ which can happen as a deep dull ache or as a more severe pain. Your simple activities such as walking, changing position can create discomfort.

6. Headache 

Problem of headache in adults with mono can be continuous. The Epstein-Barr virus directly triggers the immune system to release inflammatory substances that increase the chances of affecting the blood vessels and nerves in the head. Always hydrated, proper rest and pain relief medicines can help to manage headaches.

7. Loss Of Appetite

Lose of appetite in mononucleosis can be triggered by several factors such as sore throat and general malaise. Feeling of discomfort while eating can reduce the amount of food intake like the body starts to focus on fighting the infections. It can also become the cause of weight loss.

8. Enlarged Spleen And Liver

In mono, the immune response to the Epstein-Barr virus can cause the spleen and liver to become enlarged. If you have bloating issues, you may feel fullness or discomfort in the upper stomach. Your daily physical activities should be limited to avoid the risk of spleen rupture. 

9. Cognitive Effects

Mono disease can impact our concentration power, memory and can develop a feeling of mental alertness that is usually known as a brain fog. These problems can occur because of the effects of immune response on the nervous system. Proper rest and patience are the important factors to control these temporary cognitive challenges.


“If you feel any of these symptoms in you then it is advisable to consult your doctor and most importantly mono is contagious so it’s necessary to take proper precautions to stop spreading”.

Symptoms Of Mono In Adults Over 40

Symptoms of mono in adults over the age of 40 may present with different symptoms than mono in teenagers and young adults. However, some symptoms can be similar. Here you can see some of the common mononucleosis symptoms that you may see in adults over 40 –

  1. Fever
  2. Fatigue
  3. Swollen lymph nodes (in the neck or arms side)
  4. Severe headache
  5. Muscle aches
  6. Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  7. Liver problems
  8. Rashes
  9. Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen)

It is important to note that not everyone may suffer from all of these symptoms and the severity or duration can also depend on individuals.

How Long Does Symptoms Of Mono Last?

As I already mentioned, the duration of mononucleosis symptoms depend on person to person. Generally in most cases, symptoms start to show around 4 to 6 weeks after coming into contact with the Epstein-Barr virus. The mild symptoms of mono include fever, swollen glands, fatigue and sore throat usually around 2 to 4 weeks. However, some mild symptoms like fatigue can continue even months. 

How Is Mono Diagnosed?

Mono is diagnosed with the combination of three factors such as physical exam, medical history and blood test. Doctors firstly start with a physical exam to check for common symptoms such as swollen glands, tiredness and a sore throat. Blood tests are generally used to check specific symptoms that signifies the presence of Epstein-Barr virus. These tests may include monospot tests or Epstein-Barr virus antibody tests. If this confirms that the virus is in you then mononucleosis treatments will start to treat you.


Mono in adults can show different types of symptoms such as jaundice, fever, fatigue, swollen glands and body aches. Keep in mind that mononucleosis symptoms can be similar to other illnesses. So it’s important to talk with a doctor for a proper diagnosis. You have to take care of your rest and hydration because these are the keys for recovery.

FAQ – Signs And Symptoms Of Mono In Adults

Que1. Is Mono Contagious?

Ans- Yes, mono is highly contagious and it spreads usually through close contact such as kissing, saliva, sharing food or drinks and using the same utensils can also increase the chances of spreading virus. When you are suffering from this then try not to make close contact with the partner.

Que2. What Are The Early Stage Mono Symptoms?

Ans– Early stage mono symptoms include such as fever, swollen glands, body aches, sore throat and loss of appetite. These symptoms can appear 4-6 weeks after encountering the virus.

Que3. Can Mono Kill You?

Ans- Mono is absolutely not life threatening but some complications like ruptured spleen can be serious. It’s crucial to take proper medical treatment.

Que4. What Are The Signs Of Mono? 

Ans– Loss of appetite, swollen glands, fever, tiredness and sore throat are the signs of mono.

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