Common symptoms of mononucleosis, also known as "mono" or infectious mononucleosis, include:
Fatigue and weakness.
Sore throat, often severe and lasting for several days or weeks.
Swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the neck and armpits.
Other symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, enlarged spleen, rash, and swollen tonsils. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and some individuals may experience mild or no symptoms at all.
Severity of mononucleosis:
Mononucleosis is generally not considered a serious disease. Most people recover fully without any long-term complications. However, some individuals may experience more severe symptoms or complications, especially if the infection affects certain organs, such as the liver or spleen. In rare cases, complications like hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), anemia, or neurological complications may occur.
Cause of mononucleosis:
Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a member of the herpes virus family. The virus is typically spread through contact with infected saliva, such as through kissing, sharing utensils or drinking glasses, or close contact with an infected person's respiratory droplets.
What happens in mononucleosis:
When a person becomes infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, it initially infects the cells in the throat and mouth. It then enters the bloodstream and spreads to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. The immune system responds to the infection, resulting in the symptoms associated with mononucleosis.
Diagnosis and treatment of mononucleosis:
A healthcare professional can diagnose mononucleosis based on a physical examination, medical history, and specific laboratory tests. Blood tests can help detect the presence of antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus or an increase in certain white blood cells (lymphocytes).
There is no specific treatment for mononucleosis. It is primarily managed through supportive care, which includes rest, staying hydrated, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate symptoms such as fever and sore throat. It's important to avoid contact sports or activities that could put stress on the spleen, as an enlarged spleen is a possible complication of mononucleosis. Recovery from mononucleosis usually takes a few weeks to a couple of months.
It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management if you suspect you have mononucleosis or if you are experiencing concerning symptoms. They can provide personalized guidance and monitor for any potential complications.
Why mononucleosis sometimes refer as kissing disease?
Mononucleosis is sometimes referred to as the "kissing disease" because the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is the primary cause of mononucleosis, can be transmitted through saliva. Kissing is one of the ways in which the virus can spread from one person to another. When an infected person exchanges saliva with another person through activities like kissing, sharing utensils, or drinking from the same glass, the virus can be passed on.
The term "kissing disease" arose due to the fact that mononucleosis is commonly seen in teenagers and young adults who often engage in activities involving close contact and intimate interactions, including kissing. However, it's important to note that direct kissing is not the only mode of transmission for mononucleosis. The virus can also spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
While kissing is a common mode of transmission, it's worth emphasizing that not everyone who contracts mononucleosis necessarily acquired it through kissing. The virus can also be transmitted through other close contact or exposure to infected bodily fluids.