Mononucleosis, more commonly known as Glandular fever, Mono or the ‘kissing disease’ is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein Barr virus that is very common in teenagers.
Mono is spread through saliva hence the ‘kissing disease’. If you share a drink, lip balm, food or anything else that involves exchanging saliva you may contract the disease.
Some people will have mono and not even know because they’re not exhibiting any symptoms but will still be infectious.
Symptoms usually occur within four to six weeks and many doctors believe that you can remain contagious for up to 18 months after symptoms disappear.
Symptoms of mononucleosis include:
• Sore throat
• Puffy eyelids
• Swollen glands
• Swollen spleen
• Decreased appetite
When you visit a doctor they will conduct a series of tests to determine whether or not you have mono. Be sure to tell them the symptoms you are experiencing.
There is no cure for mono and the only way it will get better is with time. Things you can do promote a quicker recovery include – getting plenty of rest, avoiding physical activities to protect your spleen, drinking plenty of fluids, and gargling warm salt water to soothe a sore throat.
In some cases the doctor may prescribe steroids to control swelling of the throat and tonsils.
When you do feel better it is very important to avoid strenuous activity for about a month to give the spleen time to heal. If the spleen ruptures, it is a serious and life threatening condition.
Remember that if you have the disease you should try to avoid exchanging saliva even if you have no symptoms.