Mononucleosis is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). While other viruses can cause mono-like symptoms, EBV is generally thought to be the virus which causes mononucleosis. Found mainly in saliva and mucus, EBV is passed most efficiently from person-to-person by intimate behavior, such as kissing.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.
Many people contract EBV during their lifetime. Risk factors that increase the likelihood that EBV will develop into mononucleosis include:
Contracting EBV after the age of 10
Lowered immune resistance, due to other illness, stress, or fatigue
Living in close quarters with a large number of people, such as in a college dormitory
One episode of mononucleosis usually produces permanent immunity.
Signs of mononucleosis usually begin about 4 to 7 weeks after you were exposed to the virus. The initial symptoms may be a sense of general malaise that lasts about a week. This is followed by a set of signs and symptoms that may include:
There is no treatment to cure mononucleosis or to shorten the length of illness. It usually runs its course in 4 to 6 weeks, although the fatigue may linger.
During the first month after diagnosis, patients should avoid contact sports, since inflammation of the spleen from mononucleosis puts individuals at a high risk of splenic rupture.
Relief of Symptoms
Taking nonprescription pain relievers to lessen aches and pains and control fever
Avoid aspirin, especially in children.
Gargling with warm, salty water to relieve sore throat
Steroids are sometimes used if the swelling in the throat is interfering with breathing, or if a complication involving low platelet counts or
Rest and fluids
No heavy lifting or exercise for at least one month after recovery (This decreases the risk of rupturing an enlarged spleen that may have developed as part of this illness.)
If you are diagnosed with mononucleosis, follow your doctor's
Most people contract the EBV virus sometime during their lives. Prevention is geared toward decreasing the likelihood that EBV will develop into mononucleosis. Follow these guidelines to decrease your risk:
Avoid intimate contact (especially kissing) with anyone who has active mononucleosis.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a