Some people call it the kissing disease, but nobody loves mononucleosis – and it’s not just a disease for the ardent. Most cases are not terribly serious, but they can be quite long-lasting. Since mononucleosis usually strikes high school and college age individuals, this viral illness can put a sufferer out of commission during some very important times in a young person’s life.
How do I know if I have mono?
Some symptoms are very similar to what t you might experience with a bad case of the flu or strep throat: Fever, sore throat, headaches and overall achiness. Symptoms that might tell you that your illness is not just flu are rashes and swollen lymph nodes, which you can feel just under the far left and right undersides of your jaw. It’s also marked by swelling in the liver or spleen, which may sometimes cause a significant loss of appetite, swelling, and other issues. In some cases, doctors may need to perform blood tests to verify a case of mono. In most cases, the illness will usually last from about two weeks to a month. However, some cases can take several months to get over, and symptoms like fatigue may linger for a time even after your recovery.
How is mono treated?
Since mono is caused by a virus, the treatment is the same as for a bad flu: plenty of rest and liquids, and over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms. These will usually include NSAID s (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen) to relieve pain and lower fevers. Because it is not caused by bacteria, doctors should never prescribe antibiotics for mononucleosis. They are only likely to make patients feel somewhat worse and, much more seriously, can lead to drug-resistance strains of other illnesses that can threaten us all.
Is Mono Actually Spread by Kissing?
Yes, a lot of the time, but that’s not the whole story. The most common virus, Epstein-Barr, is contained in saliva and other bodily fluids, so “swapping spit” and other intimate contacts definitely appear to be major risk factors. However, very small amounts of saliva can be involved, so a friendly social kiss or sharing food or drinks can also be responsible. Since it primarily hits young adults, it’s possible the illness’s passionate reputation is bolstered as much by correlation as causation. In other words, people often assume teenagers and college students are kissing up a storm with anyone and everyone, so they simply assume that anyone with the disease must be regularly in the throes of passion. Any kind of accidental or medical contact with bodily fluids can spread the illness, including blood transfusion. Also, some cases are caused by other viruses that may be spread somewhat differently.
Concerned that you might have mono, or anything else?
If you think you might have mononucleosis, it’s important to see a doctor soon. Dr. Michael Farzam and House Call Doctor Los Angeles are using the latest high technology to bring outstanding medical care to patients wherever they are. If you’re laid up at home, a hotel, or just about anywhere else, Dr. Farzam is ready to visit patients throughout the Los Angeles area.
To get started, call us at the phone number above or reach out through our contact page. Concierge packages are also available.