Mononucleosis, a contagious viral infection, spreads through direct saliva contact of the infected person and hence it is also called the “kissing disease”. It is caused by a virus called Epstein Barr virus. This infection is also called infectious mononucleosis, mono, or EBV.
In most of the cases, the virus is dormant and remains in the body for the whole life without really affecting the person. But in some cases, the disease leads to severe chronic infection.
Mono can be diagnosed with laboratory test which includes blood tests which reveal whether the person is infected. Interpretations are made by antibody tests, atypical lymphocytes count and WBC level count.
The symptoms of this infection include swelling of lymph nodes, fatigue, enlarged tonsils, head ache, body ache, muscles weakness, measles like skin rashes, puffy eyelids, running nose, constant cough, mild or severe fever and sore throat lasting for more than a week. In acute cases, more complications could occur which include anemia, jaundice and hepatitis. Chronic stages could result in inflammation and rupturing of the spleen and inflammation of the heart.
Some patients experience pain in the tongue due to swelling of the lymph nodes and also due to the enlargement of tonsils.
The best recommended treatment is the intake of adequate fluids, well balanced and healthy diet including low fat shakes to soothe the soreness in the throat. To control fever and body pain, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are administered. Salt water gargling provides some relief from the sore throat. Antibiotics are not effective as virus do not respond to antibiotic medications.
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