As a public service I'm posting the information my doctor gave me.
Description: An infectious viral disease that affects the respiratory system, liver and lymphatic system. It usually affects adolescents and young adults (12 to 40 years).
- Frequent Signs and Symptoms:
- Sore throat.
- Appetite loss.
- Swollen lymph glands.
- Enlarged spleen.
- Enlarged liver.
- Jaundice with yellow skin and eyes.
- General Aching.
Causes: A contagious virus (Epstein-Barr virus) transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing, shared food or coughing.
- Risk Increases With:
- Illness that lowers resistance.
- Fatigue or overwork.
- High school or college student.
- Preventive Measures:
- Avoid contact with persons having infectious mononucleosis.
- If you have mononucleosis, avoid contact with persons with immune deficiencies to prevent them from getting mononucleosis.
Expected Outcomes: Spontaneous recovery in 10 days to 6 months. Fatigue frequently persists for 3 to 6 weeks after other symptoms disappear. A few patients experience a chronic form in which symptoms persist for months or years.
- Possible Complications:
- Ruptured spleen, resulting in emergency surgery.
- In rare cases, the heart, lungs or central nervous system could become involved, and the disease can prove serious, even fatal.
- General Measures:
- Diagnostic tests may include laboratory blood studies.
- No specific cure is available. Extra rest and healthy diet are important. No need for quarantine.
- To relieve the sore throat, gargle frequently with double-strength tea or warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of water).
- Don't strain hard for bowel movements. This may induce an enlarged spleen.
- In rare cases, the spleen may rupture, necessitating an emergency surgical operation.
- For minor discomfort, you may use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen. Don't take aspirin because of its suspected association with Reye's syndrome.
- If symptoms are severe, you may be prescribed a short course of cortison drugs.
- Rest in bed, especially when you have a fever. Resume activity gradually. Rest when you are fatigued.
- Don't particpate in contact sports until at least 1 month after complete recovery.
Diet: No special diet. You may not feel like eating while you are ill. Maintain an adequate fluid intake. Drink at least 8 glasses of water or juice a day or more during periods of high fever.
- Notify your doctor if...
- You or a family member has symptoms of infectious mononucleosis.
- The following occur during treatment:
- Fever over 102F (38.9C)
- Constipation, which may cause straining.
- Severe pain in the upper abdomen.
- Yellowing of the skin.
- Swallowing or breathing difficulty from severe throat inflammation
- Fever over 102F (38.9C)