What Is Mononucleosis (Mono/Kissing Disease)?

Infectious mononucleosis (IM, mono), also known as glandular fever, is an infection usually caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)

Overview:

Mononucleosis is an infectious illness that is usually brought on by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Additionally, it is called mono or “the kissing disease” You can find the virus via kissing as well as things like sharing beverages or silverware.

It is contagious, but you are not as likely to catch mono compared to other common illnesses like a cold.

Mono is not usually a severe illness, but you can have complications that make it more dangerous.

The signs of mono can vary from moderate to severe. You might be unable to take part in your normal daily activities for many weeks.

Mononucleosis Causes:

Many men and women are exposed to EBV as children. But that doesn’t always mean that you’ll get mono.

You may carry the virus on the human body for your entire life without ever having symptoms of mono.

EBV is part of the herpes virus family. Most individuals are exposed to it at any time in their lives. In the U.S., about 85% to 90% of adults carry the virus by the time they are 40.

How Do You Get Mono?

EBV spreads through bodily fluids, usually saliva, which is why you can get it through kissing.

You could even get it if you share food, beverages, or silverware with someone that has it, seldom, if an infected person coughs or sneezes near you.

If somebody who has mono utilizes a thing such as a fork or a spoon, then the virus is probably still contagious as long as the thing remains moist.

EBV is spread through blood and semen. It is unusual, however, you can get mono from medical procedures like blood transfusions and organ transplants, or through sexual contact.

Mononucleosis Symptoms:

Mono can cause different symptoms in various men and women. If you obtain EBV, you may start to get symptoms of mono within about 4 to 7 days.

Frequent symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore muscles
  • Loss of appetite

Some people don’t have any signs or ones that are so mild, they do not detect them.

Most folks who get mono feel better in about two to four months. Sometimes, fatigue can last several weeks then. In some cases, it may take 6 weeks or more for the symptoms to go away.

Mononucleosis Diagnosis:

Your physician can usually diagnose mono based on your symptoms. They might also check for swelling in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and liver or spleen.

They can affirm a mono identification with blood tests such as:

Complete blood count (CBC). Your health care provider will look at your white blood cells, such as whether any of them are odd or whether you’ve got more than usual.

Antibody tests. Your doctor will search for proteins your immune system generates in response to EBV.

Mononucleosis Complications:

Complications from mono can be serious. They might include:

  • Swollen Tonsils. They may narrow your airway, making it more difficult to swallow or breathe through your mouth.
  • Enlarged Spleen. If it becomes severe, your spleen can burst. This induces a sudden sharp pain on the left side of your upper Belly.

When you have pain in this way, it is an emergency. Get medical care right away. You might require surgery.

  • Liver problems. You may have hepatitis or jaundice.
  • Blood problems. Your body might destroy too many of your red blood cells (hemolytic anemia). Or your blood might not have enough platelets (thrombocytopenia).
  • Heart issues. Your heart muscle may become swollen (myocarditis), or else you may have an irregular heartbeat.
  • Nervous system problems. This may include seizures, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or inflammation of the tissues covering your brain (meningitis).

You are more likely to have serious complications in mono if your immune system is weakened due to an illness like HIV or AIDS, or because you take certain medications.

Mononucleosis Treatment:

No medications treat mono. Antibiotics and antivirals don’t operate on EBV. Things that may help you feel better to include:

  • A Lot of rest
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for pain and fever
  • Corticosteroid medicine for swelling in your throat

There’s no vaccine to prevent mono. EBV can stay in your saliva for weeks after you are infected, therefore even in the event that you don’t have symptoms or feel sick, you might be able to disperse it.

To reduce your chances of getting mono, clean your hands frequently and try not to discuss things like beverages, silverware, or toothbrushes with different people.

Ask your friends and loved ones for support.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…

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