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.
|DISEASE||TRANSMISSION||INCUBATION PERIOD||CONTAGIOUS 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|
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