It’s true that “mono,” short for mononucleosis, is spread from an infected person to another person by kissing, but it can also be spread by sharing utensils (fork, spoon, knifes), lip balm, and by sexual contact. The “incubation period” (the time a person is first exposed to an infected person until the time of the first symptom) can be anywhere from 4-8 weeks. However, not everyone who is exposed to an infected person will get it.
A person who gets mono can be contagious for several weeks (and perhaps even longer), even if their symptoms have gone away. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to prepare yourself for a possible mono infection except to avoid further contact (no kissing, sharing utensils/drinks or anything else that exchanges saliva) and to boost your immune system. Your immune system works to defend your body from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains, exercising daily, sleeping 8-9 hours every night, not smoking and decreasing stress will help to keep your immune system working well. During the next 4-8 weeks, pay particular attention to symptoms such as fever, sore throat, headache, and lack of energy and make an appointment with your health care provider if you become sick.
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