We provide testing for mononucleosis (Mono) at our clinic. The main Mono test is known as the Monospot test. This test also is also called mononucleosis spot test, mononuclear heterophile test, and the heterophile antibody test. The test looks for the antibodies that are produced by your body when you have been infected with Mono. Mono is a viral infection that is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, the organism that causes infectious mononucleosis.
When should I be tested for Mono? The Mono test measures antibodies in the blood. These antibodies typically take 10-14 days before they are high enough in the blood for a Mono test to become positive. So if you come before this time and the Mono test is negative this does not necessarily mean you do not have Mono. The test often stays positive for a year.
When you begin to show signs and symptoms it is a good idea to be evaluated because the physician can often diagnosis your condition even if the test comes back negative.
Some common symptoms of Mono are:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
- Swollen tonsils
- Skin rash
- Soft, swollen spleen
You may have some or all of these symptoms. You should know that these symptoms may also be present in other infections.
What should you expect when having a Mono test done in our clinic? The Monospot test is a very simple procedure that is usually uneventful and free of complications. A member of our trained medical team will take a small sample of your blood with a lancet. This will feel like a very small prick in the tip of your finger (like when someone checks their sugar). They will then squeeze the finger so they are able to collect a small droplet of blood to perform the test. A bandage will be placed over the area afterwards. Next, the blood is placed on a slide and combined with a special solution. The test results can be read in the office before your visit is over (it usually takes 10 minutes). If you do have Mono, the test can effectively identify infectious mononucleosis ten days to nine weeks after you have been infected. When warranted our provider may order additional testing.
If you are suffering from a sore throat, we may do a strep test to determine whether your sore throat is being caused by strep throat, or if it is just a Mono symptom. If you do have strep throat, you can be put on antibiotics for treatment. It will treat your sore throat symptoms. However, if you have the Mono virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics as antibiotics will not treat a viral infection.
Normally no treatment for Mono is necessary other than selfcare at home. Prednisone or other corticosteroids often help symptoms and increase energy. Your doctor will likely advise you to rest, stay hydrated, and take over the counter medications to reduce your fever. Special care should be given as to not have abdominal trauma when you have Mono as it can increase the chance of your spleen rupturing. Most healthy people recover from Mono after a few weeks. Unfortunately, for some it could take months before they regain normal energy levels again. Mono is spread through saliva. If you’re infected, you can easily prevent spreading the virus to others simply by not kissing them and by not sharing food, dishes, drinking glasses.