Infectious Mononucleosis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Infectious Mononucleosis – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. In addition, Infectious Mononucleosis is contagious and is caused by the Epstein -Barr virus of the Herpesviridae family, transmitted mainly through saliva. There is an increase in mononuclear cells due to viral infection .

Infectious mononucleosis usually occurs in teenagers, but you can get it at any age. The virus is spread through saliva, which is why some people call it the “kissing disease”.

People with Infectious Mononucleosis often have a high fever , swollen lymph glands, and a sore throat . Most cases of Infectious Mononucleosis are mild and resolve easily with minimal treatment. The infection is usually not serious and usually clears up on its own in one to two months.

Symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis: Symptoms of Infectious Mononucleosis can be noticed as early as 4 weeks after contracting the infection . The signs and symptoms of mono typically last one to two months. Symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck and armpits
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • swollen tonsils
  • night sweat

Occasionally, your spleen or liver may also swell, but Infectious Mononucleosis is rarely fatal.

Infectious Mononucleosis is difficult to distinguish from other common viruses , such as the flu. If your symptoms don’t improve after a week or two of home treatment, such as resting, getting enough fluids, and eating healthy foods, see your doctor.

Causes of Infectious Mononucleosis: Infectious Mononucleosis is caused by EBV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EBV is a member ofthe herpes virus family and is one of the most common viruses to infect humans worldwide.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person’s mouth and cannot be transmitted through contact with blood. You can be exposed to the virus by coughing or sneezing, kissing, or sharing food or drinks with someone who has Infectious Mononucleosis . It usually takes four to eight weeks for symptoms to develop after  infection .

In teenagers and adults, the infection causes visible symptoms in 35 to 50 percent of cases. In children, the virus usually causes no symptoms and the infection is often unrecognized.

Infectious Mononucleosis Risk Factors: The following groups are at increased risk of getting Infectious Mononucleosis :

  • Young people between 15 and 30 years old
  • Students
  • medical interns
  • nurses
  • caregivers
  • People who take medications that suppress the immune system

Anyone who regularly comes into contact with large numbers of people is at a higher risk of contracting Infectious Mononucleosis . That’s why high school and college students often contaminate each other.

Diagnoses of Infectious Mononucleosis: Your doctor can usually diagnose Infectious Mononucleosis based on the presence of symptoms such as fever , sore throat , and swollen lymph glands.

Your age is also a good indicator. Infectious Mononucleosis usually occurs in teenagers, but it can occur in people of any age. Blood tests can be used to confirm the diagnosis.

White Blood Cell Count: An infection caused by Infectious Mononucleosis usually causes your body to produce more white blood cells as it tries to defend itself. A high white blood cell count cannot confirm an EBV infection , but the result suggests that it is a strong possibility.

EBV antibodies: A Mono positive spot test is usually sufficient to confirm Infectious Mononucleosis . The test is a rapid test used to detect the presence of antibodies to EBV. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system naturally releases in response to a harmful substance called an antigen.

Specifically, the mono-spot test is used to detect antibodies against EBV antigens. You may not have a detectable level of antibodies at the onset of the disease. If this occurs, the test may need to be repeated in 10 to 14 days.

Infectious Mononucleosis Treatments: There is no specific treatment for Infectious Mononucleosis . However, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid medication to reduce throat and tonsil swelling . Symptoms usually resolve on their own in one to two months.

Treatment is aimed at relieving your symptoms. This includes using over-the-counter medications to reduce a fever and techniques to soothe a sore throat , such as gargling with salt water. Other home treatments that may relieve symptoms include:

  • Resting a lot;
  • Stay hydrated, ideally by drinking water;
  • Eat hot chicken soup;
  • Use pain medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms get worse or if you have severe abdominal pain.

Possible Complications of Infectious Mononucleosis: Infectious Mononucleosis is usually not serious. In some cases, people who have mono get secondary infections such as strep throat, signs of infections, or tonsillitis. In rare cases, some people may develop the following complications:

Enlarged Spleen: You should wait at least a month before doing vigorous activity or playing contact sports to avoid rupturing your spleen, which may be swollen from the infection . Talk to your doctor about when you can return to your normal activities. A ruptured spleen in people with Infectious Mononucleosis is rare, but it is a life-threatening emergency.

Inflammation of the Liver: Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) or jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) can occasionally occur in people who have Infectious Mononucleosis .

Rare Complications: According to the Mayo Clinic, Infectious Mononucleosis can also cause some of these extremely rare complications:

  • Anemia, which is a decrease in your red blood cell count;
  • Thrombocytopenia, which is a decrease in platelets, the part of your blood that starts the clotting process
  • Carditis;
  • Complications involving the nervous system, such as meningitis or Guillain-Barre syndrome;
  • swollen tonsils that can obstruct breathing.

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