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Can you contract mono by sharing a drink

How Is Mono Spread

My sister suffers from mononucleosis. I took a sip of her drink, but we later discovered that she was suffering from it. Could this mean I’m now suffering from mono.

Mono, also known as infectious mononucleosis, occurs through an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. EBV is spread through direct interaction via saliva (spit). This could happen through drinking, sharing food items, or even products like lipstick, lip gloss, or balm for lips.

Since it takes a minimum of 1-2 months before symptoms start and symptoms manifest, those affected can transmit the virus without knowing. It is most likely to spread as symptoms begin to appear until they are gone. However, they can remain contagious for months after symptoms have subsided. After that, the virus is dormant (inactive) within our bodies for the remainder of their lives. This means it could appear in their spit and be transmitted to others. Therefore, people can be carriers of EBV even when they’re good.

If you’ve had drinks with someone or kissed someone who is suffering from mono, there’s no way to determine if you’ll contract it if you’re aware that you’ve experienced mono previously. If you’ve been infected by EBV once will not get sick from EBV once more because you’ve created antibodies and are immune to the virus.


Infectious mononucleosis also referred to as “mono” or “kissing disease,” is an illness that can cause sore throat, fever, fatigue, or enlarged lymph nodes within the neck. It is most often seen in young adults and adolescents. It is generally not considered to be a significant illness. However, it could result in substantial absences from work or school because of fatigue, and, in rare cases, it can result in severe or life-threatening illness.

The discussion will focus on the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for mononucleosis in adults and adolescents.

Signs and symptoms

The typical symptoms of infectious mononucleosis typically appear about four to six weeks after you contract EBV. The symptoms may take time to develop, and they may not happen simultaneously.

The symptoms are:
  • Doctor examining patient
  • extreme fatigue
  • The fever
  • sore throat
  • The body and head are aching.
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen in the armpits and neck
  • Swollen spleen, liver or both
  • It is a rash

Swollen spleen, an enlarged spleen, and a liver aren’t as frequent symptoms. Some people’s liver, spleen, or both could be enlarged even after the fatigue is over.

The majority of patients recover within between two and four weeks; However, some patients may experience fatigue for several weeks. Sometimes the signs of infectious mononucleosis may be present for six months or more.

Diagnostics of Mononucleosis

The doctor will usually identify mono based on the symptoms you experience. You may also be able to detect an increase in the size of your lymph nodes, tonsils, as well as liver, or spleen.

They can confirm mono-diagnosis by performing blood tests, which include:

Comprehensive blood count (CBC). Your doctor will examine your white blood cells as well as whether any are unusual or are more than expected.

Antibody tests. Your doctor will test for the proteins your immune system makes in response to EBV.

Treatment for Mononucleosis

There are no medications that treat mono. Antibiotics and antivirals do not work against EBV. Things that can make you feel better are:

  • Plenty of rest
  • Many fluids

The most common pain relievers are over-the-counter, like Acetaminophen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to treat pain and fever.

Corticosteroid medicine for the swelling of your throat.

When can I go back to school or work?

People with mono can suffer from an overly large spleen that can last for weeks or even longer. Even though you can return to work or school after feeling better, you should be cautious about activities that may cause damage to the spleen.

Experts generally suggest that athletes avoid sports that involve contact or intense activity for the first three or four weeks after the illness. Your doctor should determine if it is safe to engage in strenuous and contact sports.

If you do decide to engage in sporting activities, We recommend that you begin with a slow pace, then gradually increase the intensity. Even athletes with a lot of training might not be as healthy after suffering from mono as before the illness.

Contributor Disclosures

Paul G Auwaerter, MD MBA FIDSAEquity Option to Own/Stock: Johnson and Johnson. Consultant/Advisory Boards: Pfizer [Lyme disease]; Humanigen [COVID]; EMD Serono [COVID]. All of the relevant financial relationships listed have been mitigated. Martin S Hirsch, MD, relevant financial relationship(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.Sheldon L Kaplan, MDGrant/Research/Clinical Trial Support: MeMed Diagnostics [Bacterial and viral infections];Merck [Staphylococcus aureus];Pfizer [Streptococcus pneumoniae]. Advisors/Consultants Boards MeMed Advisory Board [Diagnostics of viral and bacterial infections(Diagnostics for bacterial and viral infections). Other Financial Interests: Elsevier [Pediatric infectious diseases]; Pfizer [PCV13]. All financial relationships identified were mitigated—Sheila Bond MDNo pertinent relationship with a financial relationship(s) with non-compliant companies to report.

Disclosures from contributors are scrutinized for conflicts of interest by the editorial team. If they are found to be conflicting, these are resolved by a multi-level process of review and by requiring references to be included in support of the content. Content that is appropriately referenced is necessary by all authors and should be in line with UpToDate guidelines for evidence.

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