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MONONUCLEOSIS(Kissing Disease) AND TREATMENT


MONONUCLEOSIS(Kissing Disease) AND TREATMENT 

Infectious mononucleosis (mono) is often called the kissing disease. The virus that causes mono is transmitted through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but you can also be exposed through a cough or sneeze, or by sharing a glass or food utensils with someone who has mono. However, mononucleosis isn't as contagious as some infections, such as the common cold.

You're most likely to get mononucleosis with all the signs and symptoms if you're an adolescent or young adult. Young children usually have few symptoms, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

If you have mononucleosis, it's important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are key to recovery.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of mononucleosis may include:

*Fatigue

*General feeling of unwellness (malaise)

*Sore throat, perhaps a strep throat that doesn't get better with antibiotic use

*Fever

*Swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits

*Swollen tonsils

*Headache

*Skin rash

*Soft, swollen spleen

The virus has an incubation period of approximately four to six weeks, although in young children this period may be shorter. Signs and symptoms such as fever and sore throat usually lessen within a couple of weeks, although fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes and a swollen spleen may last for a few weeks longer.

When to see your doctor?

If you've been experiencing the above symptoms, you may have mononucleosis.

If rest and a healthy diet don't ease your symptoms within a week or two or if your symptoms recur, see your doctor.

CAUSES

The cause of mononucleosis is the Epstein-Barr virus.

Mononucleosis usually isn't very serious. Most adults have been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus and have built up antibodies. They're immune and won't get mononucleosis again.

COMPLICATIONS

Complications of mononucleosis may be more serious than the disease itself.

*Enlargement of the spleen

Mononucleosis may cause enlargement of the spleen.  In extreme cases, your spleen may rupture, causing sharp, sudden pain in the left side of your upper abdomen. If such pain occurs, seek medical attention immediately — you may need surgery.

*Liver issues

Problems with your liver also may occur:

Hepatitis. You may experience mild liver inflammation (hepatitis).

Jaundice. A yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice) also occurs occasionally.

Less common complications

Mononucleosis can also result in the following less common complications:

*Anemia — a decrease in red blood cells and in hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in red blood cells

*Thrombocytopenia — low count of platelets, which are blood cells involved in clotting

Heart problems — an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis)

*Complications involving the nervous system — meningitis, encephalitis and Guillain-Barre syndrome

*Swollen tonsils — which can block breathing

The Epstein-Barr virus can cause much more serious illness in people who have impaired immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS or people taking drugs to suppress immunity after an organ transplant.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

If you suspect you have mononucleosis, see your family doctor.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor may suspect mononucleosis based on your signs and symptoms, how long they've lasted and a physical examination. He or she will look for signs like swollen lymph nodes, tonsils, liver or spleen, and consider how these signs relate to the symptoms you describe.

*Blood tests

Antibody tests. If there's a need for additional confirmation, a monospot test may be done to check your blood for antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus. This screening test gives results within a day. But it may not detect the infection during the first week of the illness. A different antibody test requires a longer result time, but can detect the disease even within the first week of symptoms.

*White blood cell count. Your doctor may use other blood tests to look for an elevated number of white blood cells (lymphocytes) or abnormal-looking lymphocytes. These blood tests won't confirm mononucleosis, but they may suggest it as a possibility.

TREATMENTS

Treating secondary infections. Occasionally, a streptococcal (strep) infection accompanies the sore throat of mononucleosis. You may also develop a sinus infection or an infection of your tonsils (tonsillitis). If so, you may need treatment with antibiotics for these accompanying bacterial infections.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Mononucleosis is spread through saliva. If you're infected, you can help prevent spreading the virus to others by not kissing them and by not sharing food, dishes, glasses and utensils until several days after your fever has subsided and even longer, if possible.

The Epstein-Barr virus may persist in your saliva for months after the infection.

COPING AND SUPPORT

*Mononucleosis can last weeks, keeping you at home as you recover. Be patient with your body as it fights the infection.

*For young people, having mononucleosis will mean some missed activities — classes, team practices and parties. Without doubt, you'll need to take it easy for a while. Students need to let their schools know they are recovering from mononucleosis and may need special considerations to keep up with their work.

*If you have mononucleosis, you don't necessarily need to be quarantined. Many people are already immune to the Epstein-Barr virus because of exposure as children. But plan on staying home from school and other activities until you're feeling better.

*Seek the help of friends and family as you recover from mononucleosis.

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Contact us:


Mtonga Isaac Pharmacy,

Ng'ombe Township,

#16/24 Off Zambezi road,

Email: mtongaisaacpharmacy@gmail.com,

Tel: +260974272433/ +260966399444,

Lusaka, Zambia.


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