What Teachers Should Know Mononucleosis, or mono, is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common virus that most kids are exposed to at some point while growing up. Infants and young kids infected with EBV usually have very mild symptoms or none at all. But teens and young adults who become infected often develop mono symptoms. The flu-like symptoms caused by mono usually go away on their own after a few weeks of rest. Mono (sometimes called the "kissing disease") is spread through kissing, coughing, sneezing, and any contact with the saliva of a contagious person — such as sharing a straw, drinking glass, eating utensil, or toothbrush. Mono symptoms include fever, sore throat with swollen tonsils, fatigue, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms are often mistaken for strep throat or the flu. Other symptoms include: headache sore muscles lack of appetite skin rash abdominal pain Students with mono might need to: be absent from school for several weeks have homework and assignments sent home and tests rescheduled avoid gym class and sports until they get clearance from a doctor (the virus can cause the spleen to enlarge, creating a risk of rupture ) modify their school day due to fatigue or other symptoms What Teachers Can Do Mono needs to run its course naturally. Symptoms usually last 2 to 4 weeks, and some students feel tired for several weeks longer. If students with mono are absent for a long period of time, try to find ways for them to keep up with assignments so they don't fall behind and feel overwhelmed when they return to school. Teachers can help prevent the spread of infections in their classrooms by: encouraging students to wash their hands with soap and water often reminding them to always cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue, not their hands reminding them to not share drinks, straws, eating utensils, toothbrushes, or similar personal items Back to Articles Related Articles How Is Mono Spread? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More How Long Is Mono Contagious? If someone gets mono, the virus stays in that person's body for life. The virus may surface from time to time and possibly infect someone else. Here are the facts on how mono works. Read More Mononucleosis (Mono) It's sometimes called "the kissing disease," but kissing is just one of the ways that someone can catch mono. Read More Mononucleosis (Mono) Mononucleosis - or "mono" - is an infection that causes flu-like symptoms. It usually goes away on its own in a few weeks with the help of plenty of fluids and rest. Read More What's Mono? Kissing is just one of the ways that someone can spread mononucleosis. Most people who get mono are teens or young adults, but kids can get it too. Read More Hand Washing: Why It's So Important Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself. Read More Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands? Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. Learn all about the best way to wash your hands in this article for kids. Read More Hand Washing: Why It's So Important Washing your hands well and often is the best way to keep from getting sick. Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids. Read More Germs: Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, and Protozoa Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease - and they're so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.