Care4Kids

Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis, or mono, is an infection most often caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpes virus family and one of the most common viruses found in humans. The virus infects B cells (a type of white blood cell that is also produced in the lymph glands). Mono is commonly suspected based on a patient’s age and symptoms and can be confirmed by certain blood tests. Mono usually causes symptoms in adolescents and young adults. Many cases of mono do not cause symptoms (especially in young children and older adults). In teens and young adults (under 25 years old) symptoms may occur in 35-50 percent of cases.

SYMPTOMS OF MONO
The more common symptoms of mono include:

Other symptoms that can occur, include:

HOW IS MONO SPREAD?
Mono is not as easily spread as other common viruses. The mono virus is found in saliva and mucus and is usually passed from one person to another through oral contact, such as kissing or sharing drinks, toothbrushes, utensils or lip gloss. Signs of mono usually develop four to six weeks after a person has been exposed. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that most exposed people are already immune and therefore not at risk of “catching” mono and it is generally less contagious than once thought.

HOW IS MONO TREATED?
Mono will go away on its own after about six to eight weeks. Since mono is a viral disease, antibiotics won’t be of any help. However, if you develop a secondary bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. The most important key to recovery is lots of rest. Drink plenty of fluids, use throat lozenges and gargle with salt water to soothe your sore throat. You may need intravenous fluids if you get severely dehydrated. Avoid contact sports, or any kind of strenuous physical activity for about two months due to the risk of a ruptured spleen. Although a ruptured spleen is rare, be aware of signs that may indicate this condition and call your doctor immediately if you notice them. They include pain in the left upper part of the abdomen or back, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing and bleeding more easily than usual. Rarely, steroids are used to treat patients with severe disease or certain complications. Avoid taking aspirin as this can cause severe liver disease when taken during ANY viral illness. 

DISEASETRANSMISSIONINCUBATION PERIODCONTAGIOUS PERIOD
Bronchiolitis Spread via respiratory droplets through sneezing or coughing  2 to 10 days  Onset of cough until 7 to 10 days 
Chickenpox (Varicella) Airborne or via skin contact with lesions  10 to 21 days  2 days before rash appears until all sores have crusted 
Colds Spread via respiratory droplets or direct contact with infected person or object  2 to 4 days  Onset of runny nose until fever is gone

 
Croup (viral) Spread via respiratory droplets or contact with infected person or object  2 to 6 days  Onset of cough until fever is gone
 
Diarrhea Contact with feces  Depends on causative agent (bacterial 1 to 7 days; viral 1 to 4 days)  Depends on causative agent; usually until stools are formed. (See specific agents)
 
Fifth Disease (Parvo virus) Spread via respiratory droplets  Usually 4 to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days  7 days before rash until rash begins 
Hand-foot-mouth (Coxsackie) Spread via respiratory droplets, fecal/oral contact or fluid from blisters  3 to 6 days  Onset of mouth ulcers until fever is gone (respiratory tract shedding usually 1 week; fecal can be several weeks)
 
Hepatitis A Fecal contact  15 to 50 days  1 to 2 weeks before jaundice begins until 1 week after onset of jaundice
 
Hepatitis B Contact with infected blood/body fluids  45 to 160 days  Indefinite period. If Hepatitis e antigen is positive, at risk for transmission 
Herpes Simplex Oral/genital skin contact  2 days to 2 weeks  Initial infection: 1 week to several weeks (oral/genital). Recurrent infection: 3 to 4 days
 
Impetigo Direct skin contact with lesion and contact with infected objects  7 to 10 days  Onset of sores until 1 day on antibiotics
 
Influenza Spread via respiratory droplets or contact with infected person or object  1 to 4 days  24 hours before onset of symptoms until fever is gone, about 7 days
 
Lice Spread via contact with skin or hair  10 to 14 days  Onset of itch until 24 hours after first treatment
 
Meningococcus Spread via respiratory droplets  1 to 10 days  7 days before symptoms to 24 hours after treatment begins
 
Mononucleosis Contact with infected saliva  30 to 50 days  Undetermined, but usually 6 weeks
 
MRSA Spread via contact with infected person, person who is a carrier of the disease, or contaminated surface.  One to 10 days  Varies depending on whether infection is active and if person is seeking treatment 
Pertussis (whooping cough) Spread via respiratory droplets  Five to 21 days  Two weeks after onset of cough or until five days on antibiotics
 
Pink-eye or Conjunctivitis (bacterial) Spread via contact with eye drainage
 
2 to 7 days  Onset of pus until symptoms have resolved
 
Rotavirus Direct or indirect contact with infected people  2 to 4 days  Before onset of diarrhea until 10 to 12 days after onset
 
Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter Fecal contact  Salmonella - 12 to 36 hours
Shigella & Campylobacter - 1 to 7 days 
Contagious until diarrhea is resolved; sometimes with prolonged excretions with salmonella
 
Scabies Contact with clothing, bedding or skin of infected animal or person  4 to 6 weeks (previous exposure 1 to 4 days)  Onset of itch until one treatment completed
 
Scarlet fever Spread via airborne respiratory droplets and direct contact  1 to 2 days  Onset of fever or rash until 1 day on antibiotics
 
Sore throat (viral) Spread via respiratory droplets  2 to 5 days  Onset of sore throat until fever is gone 
Strep throat Spread via respiratory droplets  2 to 5 days  Onset of sore throat until 1 day on antibiotics 

2006 Red Book, Report of the Committee on Infectious Disease, American Academy of Pediatrics

Airborne - droplets nuclei that remain suspended in the air for long periods
Respiratory droplets - droplets propelled for a short distance, such as talking, sneezing, coughing, etc.


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