Mononucleosis is fairly common, especially in high school or college students who are very active. Typically, their stress level is up, and their immune system is down. It's a virus that is often referred to as the kissing disease…but mononucleosis can be more serious than it sounds.
Death is rare, but a 19-year-old Texas A&M student died last month after she was hospitalized with mono. Symptoms can include fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes or tonsils, headache, skin rash, and a soft, swollen spleen. And it can last for weeks. There is no vaccine, but doctors say there is prevention, something you have probably heard before.
"One thing is good hand washing and good hygiene if you're sneezing or coughing or anything you need to be going like this certainly if you're sick don't be kissing anybody or sharing food which is what you would do with most viruses," says pediatrician Dr. Debra Cutler.
Doctors say if a diagnosis of mono doesn't improve after a week or so of bed rest, you need to tell your doctor to make sure are not developing other complications.