Mononucleosis is an infectious disease transmitted through kissing. Virus can easily gain entry into other person’s body through exchange of saliva while kissing. This disease is also known by other names like “kissing disease” and “glandular fever”. Mononucleosis is not very contagious like common cold, but any person can get infected if he shares utensils of the infected person. It is caused by Epstein Barr virus causing symptoms like fever, fatigue and sore throat. This disease causes rapid increase of mononuclear white blood cells in the blood and hence the name ‘mononucleosis’. A person who has got infected becomes immune to EBV infection and hence cannot get further infection.
Once the person gets infected with the virus he may develop symptoms within 2-8 weeks. Initially the infected person may feel discomfort and tired for reasons unknown. Slowly the disease progresses causing signs like fever, sore throat, fatigue and swelling of lymph nodes in the armpits and neck. In extreme cases it can cause enlargement of spleen if the liver gets infected. For some people it can cause skin rashes and swollen tonsils.
Epstein Barr virus is the cause of mononucleosis. Antibodies are likely to develop in your body if you get infected once. Mono is not a serious disease and most of the people are detected with this virus without any symptoms. It is because the immune system would help them in destroying EBV carefully.
Risk factors :
Being in adolescence period gives you high risk of developing mononucleosis. Majority of the people receive this infection but may not show any symptoms until they reach adulthood. The incidence of this disease is peak between 15-17 age groups. Individuals with weak immunity are more likely to get infected with mononucleosis than others.
How it Spreads?
Saliva is the major medium through which the virus spreads to others. Kissing disease obviously can spread easily by kissing and exchanging of saliva. The infection can also spread by inhaling the air particles of infected person through sneezing or coughing. Sharing of food and utensils directly with infected person can also cause this disease. Children affected with mononucleosis may not show serious illness and they often develop immunity for EBV.
In severe cases mono can cause enlargement of spleen or even rupture. Mild hepatitis or jaundice like symptoms can occur due to mono. In rare cases, the disease can cause anemia, heart problems and low count of platelets.
Your doctor would complete physical exam and listen to your symptoms. He may order for complete blood test to check antibodies and measure the count of WBC. Increased number of WBC indicates presence of infection.
No treatment is required for mononucleosis since most of the symptoms would resolve within few weeks. Antiviral medications are prescribed for patients with severe infection along with liver problems. Strep throat can be managed with erythromycin or amoxicillin tablets. To manage fever and discomfort Tylenol can be effective. Take complete rest and drink plenty of fluids if you are infected. If you are an athlete restrain from sports activities for few weeks until the symptoms completely fades.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Mononucleosis :
Once you are diagnosed with mononucleosis do not kiss anybody since the disease spreads mainly via saliva. Do not send children to school and day care if they are found infected. The virus can be present in saliva for several weeks. Hence be careful while sharing things with others.