Mononucleosis: The “Kissing Disease”

Have you ever heard of the “kissing disease?” If so, then you have heard of infectious mononucleosis, or mono as it is more popularly known. Mono is a common viral infection caused most often by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Its nickname gives away one of its common routes of infection (kissing) but it can also spread by contact with saliva in other forms and/or other bodily fluids. Symptoms of mono can include a sore throat, fevers, fatigue, and enlarged lymph node glands in your neck. Some may also have nausea, a mild cough, or abdominal tenderness near the spleen.

Mono is diagnosed based on clinical symptoms but is confirmed with a blood test called a monospot. This test detects EBV. Sometimes other tests may need to be run to rule out other causes for symptoms. It is important to note that very early Mono testing can be negative and may need to be repeated after a few days or a week.

Mono is treated with supportive measures including ibuprofen or Tylenol for fevers and muscle aches. Patients should also drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. Some may experience fatigue for up to 4 weeks but typically can expect 11-2 weeks. There are no antibiotics that can help treat mono as it is a viral infection. It is also important that athletes and workers who are involved with vigorous physical activity avoid such activity for 3-4 weeks. This is due to a risk of rupture if you’re spleen enlarges, which occurs in about 50% of individuals with mono. Return to regular activities should be gradual so give your body time to adequately recover.

If you have any questions or believe you or a family member may be suffering from Mononucleosis contact us or stop by one of our clinics.