Mono, short for the medical term “infectious mononucleosis,” is a sickness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV for short). It most frequently affects teenagers and is often called the “kissing disease” since kissing is a common method of transmission for the virus. However, mono can also be caught by sharing food or beverages with people infected with mono.
Although it isn’t fatal, the symptoms of mono can be quite unpleasant. Additionally, mono can potentially become worse, causing strep throat, tonsillitis, and even infection of the sinuses. In rare cases, mono has been known to potentially cause a ruptured spleen or inflamed liver. In even rarer cases, there are reports of individuals with mono experiencing the following conditions: anemia, thrombocytopenia, heart inflammation, complications with the nervous system (i.e. meningitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome), and severely swollen tonsils that can even obstruct breathing.
Nonetheless, in most cases, the individual will recover on their own in four to eight weeks. However, if you suspect you have mono, you should visit a doctor and get a second opinion. While there are no known cures and no medications that can speed up the recovery process, a doctor can provide useful information for getting over the sickness. The doctor may provide treatments that may reduce the symptoms, allowing you to eat and drink sooner, and therefore allowing you to recover more easily.
What are some signs of this “kissing disease?” Here is a list of the top 10 signs and symptoms of mono:
1. Sore, Painful Throat
Not the usual sore throat that accompanies a cold, a sore throat that results from mono can be severely painful. Even the simple acts of drinking, eating, or swallowing your own saliva can be extremely difficult. The difference between the symptoms of mono and the symptoms of a cold is that with mono, you will not have any other symptoms that are usually associated with a cold. If you have an extremely sore throat that is not accompanied by coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose, you might have mono.
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