How Long Is Mono Contagious (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 Months

If someone happens to contract any disease then the chances are that its virus or pathogens can stay in the person’s body for quite some time. And sometimes these viruses or pathogens can also be very contagious. And due the this the people around the infected person are at risk.

The period for which any disease is contagious differs from one disease to another. Sometimes the contagious period starts from the time the infected person shows the symptoms.

The same is the case with “Mono” or “Mononucleosis”.which as a fact is caused because of an infection from the EBV or the Epstein- Barr Virus.

How Long Is Mono Contagious?

The period for which “Mono” or Mononucleosis” is going to be contagious is very tough to ascertain. The reason is that the virus-causing mono can be in your body for almost your whole life. But that does not necessarily mean that you will be contagious throughout your life.

Mono can spread from person to person and usually, a person can be contagious for six months from the time of infection. The timeline can even go higher in some cases. And the period of the infected person is contagious can go as high as 18 months. The infected person can start having symptoms in about 2 to 4 weeks of being infected.

In this infected period, there can be several symptoms such as:

  • You tend to feel you are having fever or feeling fatigued.
  • You are experiencing things like sore throat or headache.
  • You are experiencing muscle pains.
  • You feel swollen lymph nodes in your throat.
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Even if you get cured of Mono, that does not mean that the virus has left your body. Once you are cured, the EBV will still be in your system as long as you live. It might also happen that the virus will reactivate but you will not show any symptoms. And sometimes, such cases can also prove to be contagious.

Type Of PatientRecovery Period (To be non-contagious)
A person with average or good immunity6 months
A person with low immunityUp to 18 months

Why Is Mono Contagious For So Long?

The time for which a virus is going to stop being contagious completely depends on what type of virus it is. Some viruses can leave the system once treated, on the other hand, some viruses like the EBV which causes Mono can stay in the body for a very long time.

The reason why ‘Mono” can be contagious for such a long time is that the virus causing it – that is the EBV is known to stay in the infected person’s body long after the treatment is complete and the person is cured. Often the EBV is said to stay in your system till the time you die.

Apart from the EBV itself, another thing that plays an imminent role in the period of contagiousness being so long in the person’s immunity. If the infected person has strong immunity, they can recover faster and thus the contagious period reduces.

And on the other hand, if the person has a lower immunity, the longer will be the recovery period and thus the longer will be the period for which the infected person will be contagious.

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Also, the medication is sometimes a very simple one and that is why it often takes quite some time to get the infection cleared. So the time for which it can remain contagious can be quite long.

Another reason that contagiousness is for a longer time is negligence. The symptoms being so similar to flu, people tend to feel that it will go on its own. And thus it can cause the contagiousness to be present for a longer duration.

Conclusion

So mono is the infectious mononucleosis is another name for glandular fever. This is due to the infection caused by the EBV or otherwise Herpes VIrus 4.

People must take all the necessary measures to get rid of the symptoms and to get treated. Because the sooner you will get cured, the period for which you are going to be contagious will reduce.

Make sure to take complete rest and be completely hydrated along with the treatment to be healthy and symptom-free.

References

  1. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/1001/p1279
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19552702370
  3. https://journals.lww.com/co-hematology/fulltext/2012/01000/current_diagnosis_and_management_of_infectious.4.aspx
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