What is Mononucleosis?

Your throat aches, and you’re battling a relentless headache. No, you’re not suffering from the common cold. Instead, you’ve been diagnosed with mononucleosis—also called the “kissing disease.” But the disease is leaving you feeling anything but warm and fuzzy all over.

What Is Mono?

Mononucleosis is a disease that usually stems from the Epstein Barr virus. You’ll typically contract this disease as a young adult or teenager. However, children can also contract this infectious disease, although the symptoms tend to be more unnoticeable in them. Over time, children develop antibodies and thus an immunity to mono, so they are less likely to get the disease in adulthood.

What Is Mononucleosis Caused By?

Although you can certainly contract mono through kissing (due to the exchange of saliva), the disease can be transmitted through other bodily fluids, like mucus, as well. Other ways you can get mono include using someone else’s toothbrush, eating utensils, or drinking glass.

Here are a few symptoms that indicate that you may have contracted mono:

  • Having a swollen spleen and/or liver
  • Developing a rash
  • Suffering from headaches
  • Having lymph nodes that have become swollen
  • Experiencing a fever
  • Feeling fatigued

These symptoms can appear up four to six weeks after you have been exposed to someone with mono. Although the majority of the symptoms last no more than four weeks, other symptoms—like swollen liver or spleen, and fatigue—can last months.

What Is Mononucleosis Treated With?

Unfortunately, no vaccine can prevent you from getting mono. In the same way, no medicine can treat the disease. However, you can overcome it simply by getting enough sleep, taking pain medication, and drinking liquids. You can also gargle with salt and water or take a lozenge to experience rapid relief from an achy throat.

When you’re trying to recover from mononucleosis, avoid lifting heavy objects or playing contact sports, as this may cause you to further damage your liver or spleen.

When Should You Contact a Doctor?

If you or your child has experienced the above-mentioned symptoms, and you don’t feel certain about your prognosis, you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The doctor can confirm whether you or your child has mono and show you what to do about it.

If you don’t have a physician, we have a number of committed doctors in our Flushing Hospital Ambulatory Care Center who are ready to help you. Contact us at (718) 670-8939 to schedule an appointment today.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.