Causes and Symptoms (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which is transmitted through infected saliva or by blood transfusions. It has an incubation period of four to six weeks. The saliva may remain infective for as long as eighteen months, and after the primary infection, the virus may be present in the nasal secretions and shed periodically for the rest of the host’s life. Many cases occur in adolescents—hence the popular name “the kissing disease.” The virus can be cultured from the throat of 10 to 20 percent of most healthy adults. The incidence of mononucleosis varies seasonally among high school and college students but does not vary among the general population. The disease is fairly common in the United States, Canada, and Europe and occurs in both sexes.
Mononucleosis is characterized by fever, fatigue, anorexia, a sore throat, chills, a skin rash, bleeding gums, red spots on the tonsils, malaise, and periorbital edema. Lymph nodes in the neck enlarge, and splenomegaly develops in about half of patients. In a small number of patients, liver involvement with mild jaundice occurs.
The diagnosis is made by several different tests, such as the differential white blood count. In mononucleosis, lymphocytes and monocytes make up greater than 50 percent of the blood cells, with a figure of more than 10 percent being atypical. The leukocyte count is normal early in the disease but rises during the second week....
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Treatment and Therapy (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The treatment of mononucleosis is mainly supportive, since the disease is self-limiting. The patient is usually placed on bed rest during the acute stage of the disease, and activity is limited to prevent rupture of the enlarged spleen, usually for at least two months. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is given for the fever, and saline gargles or lozenges may be used for the sore throat. Patients need to increase their fluid intake. Many doctors use corticosteriods such as prednisone during the course of the disease to lessen the severity of the symptoms. If rupture of the spleen occurs, emergency surgery is necessary to remove the organ.
Complications are uncommon but may include rupture of the spleen, secondary pneumonia, heart involvement, neurologic manifestations such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, meningitis, encephalitis, hemolytic anemia, and orchitis (inflammation of the testes).
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Perspective and Prospects (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Viruses, such as the one responsible for mononucleosis, were first studied in the 1930’s, and they remain a challenge to laboratory investigators. Most information about viruses has come from studying their effects, rather than the viruses themselves. The majority of methods for destroying or controlling viruses are ineffective. There is no prevention for many of the diseases caused by viruses, such as infectious mononucleosis. It may be reassuring to know that the disease seldom causes severe complications if the symptoms are treated and medical care is given to those infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.
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For Further Information: (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Beers, Mark H., et al., eds. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 18th ed. Whitehouse Station, N.J.: Merck Research Laboratories, 2006. Contains a useful exposition of the characteristics, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of mononucleosis. Designed for physicians, the material is also useful for less specialized readers.
Dreher, Nancy. “What You Need to Know About Mono.” Current Health 2 23, no. 7 (March, 1997): 28-29. Infectious mononucleosis is an illness that is most common among young people ages fifteen to twenty-five. The infection is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Facts about mono are presented.
Harkness, Gail, ed. Medical-Surgical Nursing: Total Patient Care. 10th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby, 1999. This textbook briefly covers the cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious mononucleosis. The clinical pathology and possible complications of the disease are discussed as well.
Kimball, Chad T. Colds, Flu, and Other Common Ailments Sourcebook. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, 2001. A comprehensive guide for general readers covering treatment issues and controversies surrounding common ailments and injuries. Includes discussions on mononucleosis.
Litin, Scott C., ed. Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. 4th ed. New York: HarperResource, 2009. Perhaps the best general medical text for the layperson, this book covers the entire...
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Mononucleosis (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine)
Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which in teenagers and young adults may result in acute symptoms that last for several weeks. Fatigue and low energy can linger for several months.
Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also called mono or glandular fever, is commonly transmitted among teenagers and young adults by kissing or sexual activity; hence it is sometimes called the "kissing disease."
By age 350, approximately 95% of the population has been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that causes IM. Although anyone can develop mononucleosis, primary (first) infections commonly occur in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. Symptoms of IM are particularly common in teenagers. In the developed world, 150% of people are infected during adolescence and about half of these teens become ill. Among adults, 300% of those contracting IM become ill. Although males and females are equally susceptible, in the United States whites are 30-fold more likely than blacks to contract IM....
|REMEDIES FOR MONONUCLEOSIS|
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