Thursday, October 29, 2009

Q & A: "I DO have mono, what kind of contact can we continue to have?"

I've been told I may have mono and am in the process of
having my blood checked but have been told it may not be positive
yet because I haven't been sick long enough. I have a boyfriend
and am wondering if I DO have mono, what kind of contact can we
continue to have? Because the disease is spread through saliva
(the throat), is there any risk in oral/genital contact?

Mono, or infectious mononucleosis, is a viral infection
caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV), with symptoms
that typically include sore throat, fever, enlarged lymph nodes
in the neck, and marked fatigue. The disease is known to be very
contagious. In fact it has long been known as the "kissing
disease" because of it's tendency to be transmitted by kissing.
The virus is found in all body fluids, however, and can be
transmitted by oral-genital contact.

Fortunately, most people recover without any problem. Many people
are exposed and become immune to mono as children, and are
thereby protected from getting the disease later in life. The
blood test for mono takes five to seven days to turn positive
because it measures antibody activity in the infected persons
blood which takes a few days to develop. Generally speaking, you
can resume intimate contact within a couple of weeks, once the
fever is gone and the symptoms are significantly improved.

--R. Durning

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