Can You Get Mono From Sharing Drinks?

Published: February 14, 2020
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I heard a couple of kids talking about mono and that you can get it from sharing drinks. My mom said its the kissing disease. Who is right?
Signed: Can You Get Mono From Sharing Drinks?

Dear Can You Get Mono From Sharing Drinks?,

Infectious Mononucleosis, also known as “Mono”, is common among high school and college students.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause but other viruses can also cause the infection that is mainly spread through bodily fluids, especially saliva. Many refer to this as the “kissing disease” because it is most commonly spread through kissing. However, it is possible to get it from sharing drinks especially from team water bottles, or even personal items, like a toothbrush!

An interesting fact about mono is that a person can be infected with it and not show symptoms for 4-6 weeks! As a result, they can potentially pass it on to someone else without even knowing it!

Symptoms can come on gradually and can appear to be strep or the flu at first. Many teens state that their first symptom is a sore throat. Then, as it progresses,  the CDC explains it can cause extreme fatigue (feeling very tired), fever and body aches. It is very important to get checked out by a doctor to know for sure.

The spleen may become enlarged (swollen) because of the infection.  If a person plays any contact sport they need to take a break until fully recovered to avoid the possiblity of a ruptured spleen which is very serious. This is why being seen by a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis is so important.

Mono symptoms can take 2-4 weeks to go away and even several weeks to months before the tired feeling starts to lessen.

We hope this helps answer your question.

Signed: TeenHealthFX