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Jeruba's avatar

If you live with someone who has mono, what can you do to protect yourself?

Asked by Jeruba (41856 points ) June 5th, 2011

If someone who lives with you has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, what measures can you take to avoid getting it

—if you have been on kissing terms with the person and
—if you haven’t?

(In a family situation, some might be while others might not.)

And does your level of risk change if the person moves out after receiving the diagnosis? or is it too late already?

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13 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I think you’re good so long as you avoid swapping saliva with them in some way – sharing drinks, food, kissing, etc.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would discuss it with my doctor to find out what she recommends.

cazzie's avatar

If you’ve been kissing them or sharing straws or drinks or eating utensils, go have your self checked for mono. They are contagious from the time they contract the virus themselves and may have not been symptomatic for 4 to 7 weeks. Mono has a long incubation period. I’m sorry if this is bad news, but now you know.

If you haven’t been kissing or sharing spit, you should be pretty safe. The virus is in the same class as a herpes virus, so it’s not potent airborne.

Jeruba's avatar

I haven’t. But what if I’ve been kissing somebody (B) who’s been kissing them (A)? What if A has just been diagnosed and B is asymptomatic? Is B infectious during the incubation period? (And what if they are chaste maternal cheek smooches and not spit-sharing smooches?)

And is there anything B can do to prevent it from emerging full-blown if he or she has shared spit with A during A’s incubation period?

john65pennington's avatar

Why do you think its called the “kissing disease”? It’s transmitted in this fashion.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Mono is a viral infection, so anyone exposed to it risks coming down with it.

Prevention Persons with mononucleosis may be contagious while they have symptoms and for up to a few months afterwards. How long someone with the disease is contagious varies. The virus can live for several hours outside the body. Avoid kissing or sharing utensils if you or someone close to you has mono. Source

According to a few other medical sites, it sounds like there is a higher risk of catching it from being exposed to any bodily fluids, including mucus from the nose and throat and possibly tears.

This is an interesting tidbit of information: Mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is most often seen in adolescents and young adults. Children can get the virus, but it often goes unnoticed because their symptoms are mild. Older adults usually do not get mono, because they have immunity to the virus. Source

When an older teen-aged sister came down with it back in the 60s, it was long before anti-bacterial products were commonplace and doctors didn’t always use gloves when examining a patient. The parents nor I came down with it. They were in their 40s, and I was about six or seven.

AmWiser's avatar

Very interesting, as my 6 year old granddaughter has just been diagnosed with Mono. Her symptoms have varied since being diagnosed and fortunately she hasn’t had to take any medications for it. The doctor says it’s not highly contagious but to take precautions. Most of the sites for Mono state the same information as @Pied_Pfeffer has posted. My concern now is that next week the grand is coming to visit for the summer and my other daughter is bringing her 5 month old to visit also. Do I not let the 6 year old get close to the 5 month old? Oh well, back to researching.

lonelydragon's avatar

As others have said, the virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, so avoid kissing and sharing food or drinks. If you must handle their eating utensils, wear gloves when you are loading them into the dishwasher or sink. Also, wash your frands frequently.

JLeslie's avatar

Most adults have been exposed and will not catch it. You can have a blood test done, and see if you already have the antibody. If you are positive it will mean either you caught years ago and did not realize; or, ugh, you are catching it now. But, if you are not sick you can be reassured it is probably positive from the distant past.

Like any virus have the sicky keep his germs to himself. If you must touch things he has touched, if you live in the same house, don’t touch your face, or at least be sure to wash your hands well before touching your face and eating. Also, be sure to get your rest, and if you tend to be low in iron, take your iron supplements.

What’s done is done. If the virus has been transmitted already to you, the best is to again get your sleep, keep your vitamins and minerals up in normal levels, and hope for the best.

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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Jeruba It has been a month. What was the outcome?

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Jeruba's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer, thank you for asking. Person B is still within the 4‐ to 7-week incubation period. Parents are keeping an eye on him. So far, no signs.

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