Mononucleosis indeed can cause a bloody throat, says a physician.

What should you think if you look into your teenager’s throat and see blood?

Mononucleosis wouldn’t be the first thing that came to your mind if your child, or you yourself, had bleeding in the throat, unless you already suspected this viral infection.

My niece has mononucleosis and at one point, her mother peered into her throat and saw what was described as “bloody.”

So I asked a physician if this can be a consequence of this illness.

“Yes, mono is a viral fungus causing significant inflammation of the tonsils,” says Dr. Steven Lamm, MD, of internal medicine, who appears regularly as the house doctor on ABC’s “The View,” and author of “No Guts, No Glory,” a book about digestive issues.

Dr. Lamm adds, “Severe inflammation can actually cause inflammation to the point of bleeding. This, however, is very rare.”

According to, here are the more common symptoms of this infection (bleeding is not listed):

Sore throat, swollen tonsils, fatigue and weakness, fever, swollen lymph nodes in the armpits and neck, skin rash, headache, loss of appetite, swollen spleen and night sweats. says that the incubation for the virus is four to eight weeks, but in kids it can be shorter.

The reason mononucleosis is dubbed “the kissing disease” is because it’s spread through saliva.

Though blood in the throat can be scary, this does not mean a serious complication.

On the clinical faculty in internal medicine at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Lamm has maintained a private practice in NYC for 30+ years.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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