Mononucleosis VS. Strep Throat: What Are the Main Differences?

Health Education
August 2, 2021
3 min read
Mononucleosis VS. Strep Throat: What Are the Main Differences?

There are many medical conditions that can appear to be other conditions because of various similarities. This is often the case when it comes to strep throat and mononucleosis, or mono for short. While these two conditions do have several similarities, they also have a few key differences that can help determine which one an individual is infected with. It is important to know which one you have so that you can recover faster by taking the proper steps. 

What is Mononucleosis?

These two conditions differ in how they come about. Mono is caused by a virus called the Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV for short. Studies have displayed that this virus has infected around 95% of the population at some point in their life. 

What is Strep Throat?

Strep throat differs in that it is caused by infection from a bacteria called Streptococcus. This bacteria infects the throat and tonsils, and it can be picked up from others or items that an infected person has touched. 

Mono vs Strep Throat Signs and Symptoms

Both of these conditions can cause a sore throat, but there are distinct differences. A sore throat from strep throat will typically lead to enlarged tonsils, and there can also be red and white patches in the throat. Mono will often make an individual feel fatigued, which is typically not a symptom of strep throat. Another possible symptom of mono is an enlarged or swollen spleen. If you feel pain or pressure in your upper left abdomen, then you should contact your doctor immediately. 

Treatment and Recovery

Being that mono is a virus, often the best course of action is to eat well, keep drinking fluids, and get plenty of rest to help the virus pass. Strep throat on the other hand will typically require antibiotics to be treated. If the sore throat from either condition is too much, your doctor may prescribe an over the counter medication. You can also try home remedies like gargling with salt water or drinking warm tea. Of course, you should also try to eat well, drink fluids, and get good rest with strep throat as well. Doing these basic things can help you recover from many illnesses much quicker. 

Long Term Effects

Unfortunately, when it comes to long term effects, mono will take the crown. It is not always the case, but some symptoms from mono can last for weeks to months in some cases. The sore throat caused by mono will usually be gone within a few weeks, but effects like fatigue can hang around and an individual may even develop chronic fatigue syndrome. Continue to keep your doctor informed of any long-lasting symptoms or if your symptoms get worse. 

Consult with Your Doctor

One stable truth for both of these conditions is to always consult with your doctor. This is especially true if you are experiencing heavy or difficult symptoms. The doctor may just quickly diagnose you and send you away with a prescription to recover faster, but this is better than the condition getting much worse before seeking medical care. Both of these conditions can have some rare extreme symptoms that can be dangerous. If you experience any symptoms past just a sore throat and other common afflictions, then you should seek medical care. 

Seeking a Good Doctor?

If you are searching for a good primary care doctor or some type of specialist, then contact BASS Medical Group. With over 40 different locations around Northern California, were ready to accommodate you no matter where you live. Our goal is to ensure that you have a safe and effective practitioner and are happy with your medical care. Let us help you find the perfect provider by giving us a call at 925-350-4044 or visiting our website.