Mononucleosis is a type of viral infection also known as ” kissing disease”, because it is generally believed that it spreads from person to person when their mouths come into contact. It is not known how does this infection actually spreads, but usually, it is not epidemic such as, for example, flu.
If you get infectious mononucleosis, the virus is likely to expand via circulation of blood to almost every organ of the body, hence the variety of symptoms, including swollen lymph glands with a high temperature, which is why some people call it glandular fever.
At first, it may seem like you have the flu, because the initial symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are similar to flu symptoms: fever, headache, sore throat and general weakness. After a day or two you will notice that you have a swollen, painful glands in the neck, armpits and groin. Besides, jaundice can develop. All the main symptoms usually disappear after two to three weeks, but even after that, you will probably feel weak, sluggish and depressed (at least two weeks).
In a typical year, only one in 1,000 people seeks medical attention due to infectious mononucleosis. However, the disease is likely to occur more often because there are many cases that have not been diagnosed or misdiagnosed flu. Children and young adults are more prone to this infection.
Infectious mononucleosis is not a dangerous disease, but is prone to relapse, sometimes several times in the course of next year. Repeated outbreaks of disease usually occur in mild form, but when the infection completely disappears, there won’t be any consequences. Unfortunately, you will not gain immunity to reinfection, probably because infectious mononucleosis is caused by more than one type of viruses.
What to do?
If flu symptoms persist for longer than a week, and especially if your glands are swollen, consult a doctor. He will examine you and pay particular attention to eventual lumps or swellings. If a doctor suspects that you have infectious mononucleosis, he will probably take some blood for analysis. Blood test will confirm whether you are suffering from this disease.
Self-help: drink plenty of water and fruit juice, especially if you have a fever, and do not leave home. To alleviate the problem or pain, drink aspirin or paracetamol, plivalgin. It is important to rest. Do not engage in any daily work, as long as your doctor forbids you, i.e. at least a month after the onset of the disease.
Professional help: infectious mononucleosis is a viral disease, which mean antibiotics will not help you. The disease simply has to go with the flow. Some patients get bouts of depression in the period of convalescence, because they feel very tired and sluggish. If you are depressed, your doctor will help you.