Table of contents:
- Symptoms of mononucleosis
- How the diagnosis is made
- How to get mononucleosis
- Treatment for mononucleosis
- Possible complications
Mononucleosis, also known as kissing disease, infectious mononucleosis or mono, is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, transmitted through saliva, which causes symptoms such as high fever, soreness and inflammation of the throat, whitish plaques in the throat and in the neck.
This virus can cause infection at any age, but it is more common to only cause symptoms in teenagers and adults, and children usually have no symptoms and therefore do not need treatment. Although mononucleosis does not have a specific treatment, it is curable and disappears after 1 or 2 weeks. The only recommended treatment includes rest, fluid intake, and medication to relieve symptoms and speed up the person's recovery.
Symptoms of mononucleosis
Mononucleosis symptoms may appear 4 to 6 weeks after contact with the virus, however this incubation period may be shorter depending on the person's immune system. The main symptoms indicative of mononucleosis are:
- Presence of whitish plaques in the mouth, tongue and/or throat;
- Constant headache;
- High fever;
- Sore throat;
- Excessive fatigue;
- General malaise;
- Appearance of bumps on the neck.
Mononucleosis symptoms can be easily confused with flu or cold, so if symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, it is important to go to the general practitioner or infectious disease specialist for evaluation and diagnosis.
To know the risk of having mononucleosis, select the symptoms you are experiencing in the following test:
- 1.Fever above 38º C Yes No
- 2.Very severe sore throat Yes No
- 3.Constant headache Yes No
- 4.Excessive tiredness and general malaise Yes No
- 5.White patches in mouth and tongue Yes No
- 6.Glues on the neck Yes No
Make an appointment with a specialist
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of mononucleosis is made through the evaluation by the doctor of the signs and symptoms presented by the person. Laboratory tests are only indicated when symptoms are not very specific or when it is necessary to carry out a differential diagnosis with other diseases caused by viruses.
Thus, a complete blood count may be indicated, in which lymphocytosis, the presence of atypical lymphocytes and a decrease in the number of neutrophils and platelets can be observed. To confirm the diagnosis, it is recommended to search for specific antibodies circulating in the blood against the virus responsible for mononucleosis.
How to get mononucleosis
Mononucleosis is a disease that can be easily transmitted from one person to another through saliva, mainly, kissing being the most common form of transmission. However, the virus can be spread in the air through droplets that are released in a sneeze and cough.
In addition, sharing cups or cutlery with an infected person can also lead to the emergence of the disease.
Treatment for mononucleosis
There is no specific treatment for mononucleosis, as the body is able to eliminate the virus.However, it is recommended to rest and drink plenty of fluids, such as water, teas or natural juices to speed up the recovery process and avoid complications such as liver inflammation or spleen enlargement.
However, in some cases, the doctor may choose to prescribe medication to relieve symptoms, and the use of analgesics and antipyretics, such as Paracetamol or Dipyrone, may be recommended to relieve headache and tiredness, or anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac to relieve sore throats and reduce sore throats. In the case of other infections, such as tonsillitis, for example, the doctor may also indicate the use of antibiotics, such as Amoxicillin or Penicillin.
Understand how mononucleosis is treated.
Complications of mononucleosis are more common in people who do not get proper treatment or who have a weakened immune system, allowing the virus to develop further.These complications typically include an enlarged spleen and inflammation of the liver. In these cases, intense pain in the belly and swelling of the abdomen is common and it is recommended to consult a general practitioner to start the appropriate treatment.
In addition, rarer complications such as anemia, inflammation of the heart or infections in the central nervous system such as meningitis may occur.