A few years ago I had Mononucleosis. Since I thought it was a bad case of flu, it went untreated. But for several months, I had flu-like symptoms (fever, very runny nose and lot of mucus) every 4 weeks. After that I was left with a permanently sore throat.

When I finally went to a doctor he told me the mucosa in my throat wasn't healing, he did some tests and gave me medicines.

I ended up discovering that I had had Mononucleosis but at the time of the exams I was already healed (I tested positive to antibodies but had no more symptoms, except for in my throat.)

It's been a few years since what I have described, and now my throat is healed. However, I noticed that whenever I get the flu or a cold, I feel worse than I used to feel before that case of Mononucleosis (not just on my throat though).

Is it possible that having contracted Mononucleosis is the cause of my worsened symptoms with colds of flu?

1 Answer 1


It's possible in the same way that "anything is possible" (limiting ourselves to those things that are actually and potentially possible, i.e. a human can't sprout wings and fly; that's impossible.)

It's possible, because the etiologic agent that causes Infectious Mononucleosis - Epstein-Barr virus or EBV - may periodically reactivate; that family of viruses famously reactivates periodically, in the form of cold sores, genital herpes, shingles, etc. etc. But it was not known until relatively recently that Infectious Mononucleosis (or Mono) also periodically reactivates in some people causing symptoms consistent with a viral infection.

Does having had Mono make everyone's cold or flu symptoms worse? No. Does it make yours worse? Probably not, but not impossible; it's not a known scenario. Might you possibly be experiencing Mono from time to time making you feel bad? Yes, it's possible. Might having an illness reactivate your Mono? That could only be determined by testing.

How long is infectious mononucleosis contagious?

  • I see. That makes more sense indeed. Thanks
    – valepu
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 18:54

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