Mono and its impact on schools and families

     With the holiday season steadily approaching, a growing concern for families and schools alike is the rising cases of mono, or mononucleosis, being spread throughout households and schools.

     According to, mono is spread through direct contact with saliva. It could be spread through things such as food, drinks, makeup and even utensils.

     Because people are starting to see extended family members, illnesses spread through contact will spread much faster due to shared food, toiletries, beauty products and physical contact. Mono is becoming a concern in schools as well. Students share things with each other and touch each other all the time, and if a student has mono there is a good chance that they will spread it to any partners or close friends.

     According to, some symptoms of mono include fever, headache, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes and sore throat. Some of these symptoms are easy to mistake for various other illnesses, or even allergies, so detecting mono and preventing its spread can be difficult at times when sickness is blamed on minor symptoms.

     Metea Valley freshman Jackson Wimmer has never had mono, but he is cautious. Wimmer has a partner, which means there is a higher risk for catching mono through kissing. “I want to be able to enjoy being with my girlfriend and do what we want to do, but being worried about whatever disease is spreading can make it hard to not worry,” Wimmer said. “The last thing I want to do is get my girlfriend, or even my family, sick.”

     There are ways that people can prevent mono from spreading, even in times when cases are high. The best way you can prevent you and the people around you from catching mono is by not sharing anything that comes in contact with your mouths. During the holidays this may be difficult for some, but it’s the sacrifice you have to take to be able to keep yourself safe.

     Catching mono is never a pleasant thing, but those who have caught it can find some comfort. Once you have caught mono, you may build immunity to it. This does not mean that you are 100% immune to it, but more often than not it means that you have a lower chance of catching it. This does not go for every disease, though. Many illnesses spread by mouth do not provide the comfort of a potential immunity to it.

     Junior Anna Escobedo has not had mono and is not worried about catching it anytime in the future. “I don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but even if I did, I wouldn’t be worried. I’m always getting sick from one thing or another, and I’ve never even come in contact with anyone who had mono,” Escobedo said. “If I needed to worry about it, more people would be talking about it. At least, that’s what I think.”

     If you can’t avoid sharing things with friends or family, you can at least be selective with what people you share with so you can contact trace back to who gave it to you.