‘Mono’ or Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious viral illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is also called “Kissing Disease” as some believe it can be transmitted by kissing. It spreads by person-to-person contact and saliva is known to be the primary medium of transmitting the disease.
“Mononucleosis” refers to an increase in one type of white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the bloodstream relative to the other blood components as a result of the EBV infection.
Here are few common symptoms of Mono:
- High fever about 102 F to 104 F
- Severe sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck area and armpit
- Malaise and fatigue
- Loss of Appetite
- Reddened throat and tonsils
- General discomfort and uneasiness
- Enlarged abdomen due to enlargement of spleen or liver
- Muscle aches
Here are few less frequent symptoms of Mono:
- Jaundice or yellow coloration of the skin
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Sensitivity to light
- Neck stiffness
- Shortness of breath
Complications Associated with Mononucleosis are:
- Weak immune system causing the death
- Hemolytic anemia
- In patients above the age of 35 years, hepatitis with jaundice
- A condition technically called orchitis involving swelling of the testicles
- Though rare the person can suffer from neurological disturbances like Guillain-Barre syndrome
- A condition called Bell’s palsy involving temporary paralysis of the face
- Ataxia or uncoordinated movements
- Rupture of the organ spleen closely related to the immune system
- Secondary bacterial throat infection
Facts and Statistics About Mono Disease:
- 50 percent of children affected with EBV virus are below the age of 5 years.
- 90 percent of people affected with this disease are below the age of 25 years.
- Another virus known as Cytomegalovirus (CMV), can also cause this disease.
- In 90 percent cases of this disease, the symptoms are not apparent.
- It is a myth that this disease is prevalent among teenagers and it persists for months.
- Though it is found to be common in the age group of 15-17 years, people belonging to any age group can get this disease.
- Unfortunately there is no effective treatment or cure for mono.
- Sharing food, eating utensils and rinking from the same container as the affected person can cause this disease.
- It is not possible to predict the time of stay of the virus within a person affected with this disease even after recovery.
- It takes 10 days for the fever to come down, 4 weeks for the spleen and swollen lymph glands to heal and few weeks to 3 months for the fatigue to go away.