Most people infected with mononucleosis may start to feel better within two to four weeks, but fatigue may last longer. It generally takes two to three months to completely recover from mononucleosis. Make sure the patient gets proper rest for fast healing. Occasionally, the symptoms of mononucleosis can last for six months or longer.
It is better to wait for two-three months before attempting vigorous physical activities such as heavy lifting, roughhousing, and contact sports.
What is mononucleosis?
Infectious mononucleosis, also called “mono,” is a contagious infection most commonly caused by a herpes virus called Epstein-Barr (EBV). Teenagers and young adults are more commonly affected by mononucleosis.
It is commonly known as the kissing disease because of the way it gets transmitted.
The mononucleosis virus is transmitted mainly through:
How do you know if you have mononucleosis?
Once you are infected with the EBV, it can take four to six weeks for the symptoms to turn up. When the symptoms appear, they tend to be mild, especially in young children. Symptoms develop gradually and may not occur at once.
The most common symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Sore throat
- Head and body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
- Swollen liver or spleen or both
- Lack of appetite
- Weakness and sore muscles
Swollen liver or enlarged spleens are rare; however, in some, these symptoms may continue even after their fatigue ends.
Most of the symptoms of mononucleosis decline within two to four weeks, but fatigue may last longer. It generally takes two to three months to completely heal from mononucleosis. Occasionally, the symptoms of mononucleosis can last for six months or longer.
What are the causes of mononucleosis?
EBV is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis; however, other viruses may also cause this disease. Certain infections and viruses responsible for causing the symptoms of mononucleosis include:
How is mononucleosis treated or managed?
There isn’t a vaccine or cure for mononucleosis. Antibiotics or antiviral medicines may not work against mononucleosis. Management of mononucleosis includes:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Getting adequate rest to fight infection
- Drink plenty of fluids for hydration
- Pain killers may be recommended for fever, inflammation, headaches, and muscle aches. Some of the common painkillers include Aleve (naproxen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), and Advil (ibuprofen).
- Gargle with saltwater and use throat lozenges for calming a sore throat
- Avoid contact sports and strenuous exercise to prevent the risk of spleen rupture.
How to prevent mononucleosis?
Avoid the following activities to prevent the infection from spreading:
- Kissing or having sexual contact with the infected person
- Sharing of glass, utensils, silverware, and toothbrushes with the infected person
- Receiving blood from unauthentic sources
- Coughing or sneezing without covering the mouth
- Eating without washing the hands
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