Merriam-Webster defines mononucleosis as “an acute infectious disease associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), characterized by symptoms like fever”. Mono, or the “kissing disease”, is usually spread through saliva but can also be exposed in other ways like a cough. Mono can affect people ages 13-30 and present itself different ways like the flu or a cold.
Mono usually takes about 4-10 weeks to develop once a person is infected with the virus, then symptoms start appearing. Symptoms can include things like fever, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen and liver, loss of appetite, swelling around the eyes, and a rash. Since mono is a virus there is no specific antiviral therapy, doctors will most likely prescribe steroids to reduce the swelling of the tonsils along with lot of rest and fluids . For the other symptoms Ibuprofen or motrin can be used to relieve aches and manage the fevers. Symptoms can still be present up to 18 months.
Most commonly transmitted through saliva, hence the term “kissing disease”. Mono can also be spread through a cough, or by sharing a glass, food, toothbrush, chapstick and in some very rare cases it can be shared through blood. Some steps you can take to prevent mono is to stay away from stress if avoidable, don’t kiss a lot of people, and get as much rest as you can. Bottom line, it’s very hard to prevent mono from spreading. Mono can only be diagnosed by a blood test that a doctor orders.
Even though it is most commonly seen in high school and college students who are run down and fatigue from stress and lack of sleep, it can infect people from ages 13-30. Mono peaks earlier in females than males. With Females usually being between the age of 15-16 when they contract mono, and males usually being between the age of 18-23. It percents differently in everyone so therefore most people mistake it for a cold or the flu because its symptoms are so similar that being said most people don't even realize that they have it.
Overall most people that have mono recover fully with no complications and return to school/work in a few weeks. EBV stays in your body for the rest of your life dormant. Although the virus is dormant it can be reactivated in high stress situations and with sleep deprivation. It is so important that you are drinking lot of water, getting lots of rest, and avoiding things like sports so that people don't have complications like a ruptured spleen, inflammation of the heart, or dehydration