Mononucleosis Treatment in Sterling, VA
Mononucleosis, known as "mono" for short, and infamously nicknamed "the kissing disease," is a common infectious illness that most frequently affects adolescents and teenagers. Occurring as a result of exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is transmitted through saliva, in cases of mono, contagious particles can be contracted from kissing but also through the exposure of an infected person's cough or sneeze, or though the sharing of glasses or food utensils of an infected person.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Sterling that can assist you with mononucleosis treatment, call (703) 215-2795 or contact Dr. Andrew Heyman online.
Who Gets Mononucleosis?
Teenagers are the most commonly affected by mono. Children can get the virus, though it often goes unnoticed due to mild symptoms, and adults usually don't get it due to having an immunity to the virus. Spreading through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose and throat and sometimes tears, the virus has gained its infamy from teens spreading it to each other from kissing. Once infected, the virus is considered active and remains "active" until symptoms subside; however, once infected, the virus remains in your system and may reactivate without causing symptoms, and may spread to others. As a common virus, mono infects a large part of the population before they reach adulthood.
Common mononucleosis symptoms include:
- High fever
- Severe sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen tonsils
Symptoms of mononucleosis usually start between 4 and 6 weeks of exposure to the virus, lying dormant before fever hits. Once the fever appears, it will usually last between one and two weeks, while the major mono symptoms last 2 to 4 weeks before gradually resolving.
If your healthcare provider suspects mono is what ails you, a physical exam as well as a discussion of your symptoms will precede blood tests to inspect for of signs of mono. Blood tests can also help rule out other causes of your symptoms unrelated to mono. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a white blood cell count, which will inspect for elevated number of white blood cells (lymphocytes) or abnormalities. This test won't confirm mono but may suggest it as a possibility. An antibody test known as a monospot test is performed to inspect your blood for antibodies containing the Epstein-Barr virus. Results are available within a day; however, it may not detect the infection during the first week of the illness. A different antibody test, which requires longer result time, can detect the disease even within the first week of symptoms.
Mono can usually be treated at home without serious medical intervention, though visiting your healthcare provider is always recommended to ensure the severity of your condition doesn't threaten your health in other ways, such as an enlarged spleen which can present a risk of rupturing, requiring immediate surgery. Other complications of mono include:
- Red spots or rash, possibly developing as a complication of certain antibiotics
- Mild anemia
- The appearance of abnormal white blood cells
- Mild hepatitis
Other, though very rare, complications of mono include:
- Airway obstruction and difficulty breathing
- Brain and spinal cord problems
- Cardiac problems, such as an irregular heart beat
Mononucleosis treatment will usually consist of health recommendations including bed rest, good nutrition and drinking plenty of fluids. Prescription medications are less common, as for instance antibiotics won't work against viral infections such as mono. When medications are prescribed, they are to target secondary infections caused by mono, such as an antibiotic to treat streptococcal (strep) infection or other bacterial infections. Amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives are not recommended as they may cause a rash. Other antibiotics that are less likely to cause a rash may be prescribed, if necessary, to treat infections caused by mono.
Mono can be avoided relatively easily. Avoiding the sharing of saliva found in drinks or on food utensils, while also avoiding intimate contact with infected persons, will help keep you uninfected. In addition, strengthening your immune system by adhering to a healthy diet, regular physical activity and other vital lifestyle behaviors can help your immune system better react to the virus. If you do find that you are suffering symptoms consistent with mono, schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Sterling that can assist you with mononucleosis treatment, call (703) 215-2795 or contact Dr. Andrew Heyman online.
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