Infectious mononucleosis is a form of viral infection. In most cases, it does not trigger any symptoms especially if younger children are affected. Nevertheless, it is the usual cause of sickness and missed school days among teenagers and young adults.
The condition is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus that mainly spreads via saliva. Other modes of transmission include sneezing, coughing or sharing of eating or drinking utensils. Remember that the infection is highly contagious right before the symptoms arise until several days after the fever has settled.
What are the indications?
Once the virus enters the body, it might take a month before any symptoms arise. The initial signs include:
- Muscle aches
Generally, most experience excessive tiredness before any symptoms manifest. After a few days of fever, tiredness and body aches, other symptoms include:
- Engorged tonsils with a yellowish-white coating
- Sore throat
- Enlarged glands in the neck
In some cases, other signs that might be present include aching joints, appetite loss, nausea and fine, reddened rashes on the chest.
Management of infectious mononucleosis
Generally, there is no specific treatment for infectious mononucleosis. Since it is a viral condition, antibiotics do not have any effect. An essential component of treatment is to get enough rest.
Oftentimes, infectious mononucleosis can cause the tonsils to enlarge significantly that they block the throat. The doctor might prescribe steroids to reduce the size of the tonsils. A steroid must be taken as instructed by the doctor.