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Mononucleosis or Mono: The symptoms, treatment and prevention

Description

Mononucleosis, which is also known as mono, but is also known as glandular fever. This is a common illness that can leave you feeling weak and tired for weeks or months. It is caused by the Epstein­ Barr virus, which is part of the herpes virus family. It is spread through saliva, tears and nose fluids. As it is spread through spit, it is commonly known as the kissing disease. Mono will away on its own, but you will need plenty of rest and take care of yourself.

How is it transmitted?

The most common way of contagion is to kiss other people. Other ways to get it is by sharing glasses, toothbrush, or spoons.

Mono can be spread through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose and throat, and sometimes tears. Because the virus can be spread through kissing, it has earned the nickname the “kissing disease.” If you have mono, you can avoid passing the virus to others by not kissing anyone and by not sharing things like drinking glasses, eating utensils, or toothbrushes.

Mono is spread through the saliva, nose fluids, and tears.

Symptoms

Most people have it, and few know it. The symptoms are vague and commonly confused with the common flu. They include tiredness, sore throat, swollen glands, general weakness, fatigue, and at times even a high fever. The virus may become active from time to time without causing any symptoms. When the virus is active, it can be spread to others.

The most common symptoms of mono are a high fever, normally 38C and above, a severe sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (sometimes called swollen glands) and tonsillitis that isn’t getting better, and weakness and fatigue. Symptoms usually start 4 to 6 weeks after you are exposed to the virus. Mono can cause the spleen to swell. Severe pain in the upper left part of your belly may mean that your spleen has burst. This is an emergency.

The incubation period for “mono” is 4 to 8 weeks. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. “Mono” can cause liver inflammation (hepatitis) and spleen enlargement. Vigorous contact sports should be avoided to prevent spleen rupture.

Testing

A blood test can confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and will examine you. You may also need blood tests to check for signs of mono. Blood tests can also help rule out other causes of your symptoms.

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Treatment

Usually only self-­care is needed for mono. Get plenty of rest. You may need bed rest, which could keep you away from school or work for a little while. Gargle with salt water or use throat lozenges to soothe your sore throat
Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to reduce fever and relieve a sore throat and headaches.

Never give aspirin to someone younger than age 20 years, because it can cause Reye syndrome, a serious illness. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Avoid contact sports and heavy lifting. Your spleen may be enlarged, and an impact or straining could cause it to burst. In severe cases, medicines called corticosteroids may be used to reduce swelling of the throat, tonsils, or spleen.

There’s no cure for glandular fever. It’s caused by a virus so antibiotics won’t work.

You should feel better within 2 to 3 weeks. Some people may feel extremely tired for months.

Try to gradually increase your activity when your energy starts to come back.

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Complications

This is not a serious problem, except for those who have a weak immune system.

Mono can cause your spleen to swell. For the first month, avoid sports or activities that may increase your risk of falling, as this may damage it.

Prevention

Mono is very infectious. It’s spread through spit. You’re infectious for up to 7 weeks before you get symptoms. But to prevent getting it or spreading mono you can:

  • Avoid sharing utensils, toothbrushes and drinking glasses with infected people
  • Avoid kissing people with mono
  • Optimize your diet to help boost your immune system
  • Avoid donating blood within the six months after the onset of the condition
  • Avoid sexual contact when sick
  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Reduce stress.

Do view this video to recap the information above and by learning more about this disease then you will know how to prevent it:

 

About Jacques Dippenaar

Jacques is an influential health blogger and researcher helping readers explore interesting facts and information.

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