My sister has mononucleosis. I drank out of her drink before we found out that
she had it. Does this mean that I have mono now? – Kyle*
Mono, or mononucleosis, is spread through direct contact with saliva. This includes
sharing eating utensils, drinks, and even things like lip gloss, lipstick, or
Because it takes about 4 to 7 weeks for symptoms to appear, a person who's infected
can spread the
without even knowing it. Though no one really knows exactly how long it
takes after infection with the virus for someone to become contagious, it's pretty
safe to say that a person is most contagious from right before symptoms start until
they go away.
If you've shared drinks with or kissed someone who has mono, there's no way to
tell whether you will get it — unless you know you've had mono before. People who
have already been infected with the virus that causes mono — Epstein-Barr virus or
EBV — probably won't get reinfected because they develop immunity. (Although it is
possible for the virus to "reactivate," it's not because someone infects
you all over again. It's because in rare cases the original virus can flare up and
cause symptoms a second time).
About 95% of adults have been infected with EBV and 50% of kids are infected before
age 5. So you may very well have already had mono and not known it.
If you do get the symptoms of mono — such as fever, sore throat, and tiredness
— contact your doctor to find out whether you need an appointment. If so, your
doctor will examine you and may also do a blood test for mono. Other viruses and some
bacterial infections — such as strep — may cause similar symptoms.