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Is it safe to play sports if I have infectious mononucleosis?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2396 Questions
My son 18 yrs old 6'2" 160 lbs and healthy had an ear ache then sore throat and was given a blood test that said he had mono. It has been a week and he has not lost his appetite and has his same amount of energy. He has High school soccer tryouts this week and has been running two miles a day till now, if he doesn't have contact just the running and ball skills will he be safe? I guess Im asking would he already be tired if he was going to get that part of the illness, could he be at the end of mono?
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 7 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.

It is quite difficult to tell where in the illness he might be at this point. If he is not complaining of severe fatigue and is maintaining a good level of his normal activity in addition to being able to tolerate exertion such as running then it may be that he has just a mild case or that in fact his immune system is getting the upper hand in the process of resolving the illness.

Of course we worry about contact sports in the setting of mono because sometimes the spleen swells and can be subject to rupture in the case of trauma or fall etc. I think it is ok and safe for him to go to the try outs as long as it is abundantly clear that he should stick to just running and skills and not any one on one play were slide-tackles and falling are possible.

Perhaps you could confidentially approach the coach and just let him know your son's situation. I would expect that a reasonable coach would be quite understanding.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my response to be both helpful as well as reassuring. If you have any additional concerns regarding this issue I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
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