Also known as “MONO”
Mononucleosis is a common illness that can leave you feeling tired and weak for weeks or months. It goes away on its own, but lots of rest and good self-care can help you feel better. Illness usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Often seen in teens and young adults, children can get the virus, but it often goes unnoticed because their symptoms are mild. Mono can be spread through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose, throat and sometimes tears. This is known as the kissing disease.
However, Mononucleosis isn’t as contagious as some infections, such as the common cold. If you have mono, it’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are key to recovery. Epstein-Barr is a very common virus. ...view middle of the document...
Occasionally, titers of antibodies against the viruses that cause mono may need to be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Since mono is spread from person to person, avoiding close personal contact with infected individuals and practicing excellent hygienic practices can help prevent transmission of the virus. However, since periodic reactivations of the virus infection seem to occur in healthy individuals and because many infected people who may transmit the virus to others will not have symptoms of the condition, prevention is extremely difficult. In fact, these individuals without symptoms are believed to be the primary source of transmission of the virus.
In most cases of mono, no specific treatment is necessary. The illness is usually self-limited and passes much the way other common viral illnesses resolve. Treatment is directed toward the relief of symptoms. Available antiviral drugs have no significant effect on the overall outcome of mono and may actually prolong the course of the illness. Occasionally, strep throat occurs in conjunction with mono and is best treated with penicillin or erythromycin. Ampicillin and amoxicillin should be avoided if there is a possibility of mono since up to 90% of patients with mono develop a rash when taking these medications. If this happens, the individuals may then be inappropriately thought to have an allergy to penicillin.
There are no medications that can treat mono. Ways to deal with this disease is getting lots of rest, preferably bed rest. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, take nonprescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen to relieve the fever and muscle aches. To help soothe a painful sore throat, use throat lozenges, drink cold beverages, or eat frozen desserts such as popsicles.