Mono, otherwise known as “the kissing disease,” is short for mononucleosis. You might have heard about mono during school, as this virus is very contagious and could easily sweep through a school. While mono isn’t a serious illness, it can sometimes lead to complications, meaning that it is important to know its signs and symptoms.
What is Mono?
Mononucleosis, or mono, is an infectious illness that was dubbed “the kissing disease” due to its contagious nature. Kissing isn’t the only way to contract mono, however. Mono is transmitted through saliva. This means that sharing drinks, sharing food utensils, or even being exposed to a cough or sneeze from a carrier can cause infection. As an adolescent or young adult, you will show symptoms and signs of mono. However, a young child will display fewer symptoms, so the virus can go unnoticed.
What Causes Mono?
EBV, or the Epstein-Barr virus, is the cause of mono. EBV, however, does not guarantee that you have mono. Some individuals carry EBV without ever displaying symptoms of mono. EBV is a very common virus and is a part of the herpes family. Most of us will get infected with it at some point in our lives, therefore it is important to know the signs and symptoms of mono.
Once you have contracted EBV, you could start showing symptoms of mono in 4 to 7 weeks. Mono can cause fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits, swollen tonsils, headaches, skin rashes, and a soft, swollen spleen. Due to some of its symptoms, like swollen tonsils and swollen lymph nodes, mono can sometimes be misdiagnosed as strep throat.
Complications of Mono
In more extreme cases of the mono virus, your spleen could swell and rupture. This will cause a sudden, intense pain on the left side of your upper abdomen. If this occurs, it is important to seek out medical attention immediately, as you may need surgery. EBV is much more severe in individuals with weaker immune systems, such as individuals with HIV or AIDS. This virus can also cause issues in those who have just had an organ transplant.
Mono can also cause less common complications, such as anemia. Anemia occurs when there is a decrease in red blood cells and hemoglobin, often resulting in fatigue and dizziness. Mono can also cause thrombocytopenia, a condition where your blood platelet count is low. This can result in easy bruising, prolonged bleeding, bloody urine, and bloody stools. The mono virus can also cause the heart to become inflamed, which will cause heart issues. Swollen tonsils also can occur due to mono, which can make it harder to breathe and potentially trigger an asthma attack for those with asthma.
Treatment for Mono
Mono cannot be treated with antibiotics. Treating mono mostly involves rest and fluids. It is also important to remember that mono will remain in your saliva months after you’ve been infected. When sneezing and coughing, ensure that you are doing so into your arm. Also, be sure to avoid kissing others, as well as sharing your drinks or utensils with them. The best way to treat the mono virus is by taking precautions to avoid it entirely. Wash your hands often and avoid sharing drinks and eating utensils with other individuals.
Get Diagnosed Quickly
If you think you may have contracted mono, it is important to get diagnosed by a medical professional as soon as possible. With our urgent care services, not only will you receive walk-in services, but you will be seen quickly. Instead of having to wait days to be seen by a general practitioner, you can come to us and quickly get in to be seen by a medical professional. You do not have to sit and worry about your symptoms when BASS Urgent Care is here, ready to help.