The earliest reports of illnesses resembling acute infectious mononucleosis (IM) appeared in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, but it was not until 1920 that the syndrome as we currently know it was described. The apparent lack of prior recognition of IM rests not on oversight of the illness, but rather on the infrequency of the disease up until this time. Infectious mononucleosis (IM), shortened to just mono, or the Epstein-Barr virus, EBV, and also known as Alice-in-Wonderland Syndrome. “The Kissing Disease” is what this virus is famously known as.
Many people think of mono as a disease that teens and young adults get because of its famous name. They do not know that mono is very common in younger children as well. There are several forms of mono, one form of mono is seen almost only in young children. Very few children with mono display the Alice-in-Wonderland Syndrome, which has side effects of shapes, sizes, and distances being distorted, or blurred during the infection. (drgreene. com).
Many people want to know what mononucleosis is. Mono is an illness that has classic symptoms that include a sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and very unusual tiredness, more so than your everyday typical tiredness. It is the most well- known infection caused by the Epstein- Barr virus (EBV). EBV causes more than 90% of mono cases. Other organisms occasionally cause mono, including CMV, adenovirus, toxoplasma, rubella, and the hepatitis viruses. EBV is a The kising disease 3 herpes virus, like the virus that causes chicken pox, and fever blisters, and genital herpes. (drgreene. com) Epstein-Barr virus infects more than 95 percent of the world’s population.
The average age that people are getting infected varies from different parts of the world. In most developed countries the average age of infection is the age of 10, EBV infection can occur at any age, although it is more common in the younger population. After the age of 4 when the first EBV infection occurs, multiple symptoms are likely to occur, but vary differently with each person that is infected. (drgreene. com) The symptoms of mononucleosis, usually Classic mono begins within 2-5 days of being tired, and feeling “under the weather”, sometimes a fever is involved as well.
These symptoms may even last a week or two. A sore throat then develops accompanied by swollen glands in the neck as well as other parts of the body. Fever and tiredness become more intense. Abdominal pain and rashes are common things you will see or need to look for, especially in children. The rash is even more common if the child is treated with Ampicillin, some children often have a runny nose and cough as well. Loss of appetite, muscle aches or stiffness are also some of the symptoms that could occur.
The less frequent symptoms are chest pain, cough, headache, hives, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), neck stiffness, nose bleeds, rapid heart rate, sensitivity to light and shortness of breath, or having problems breathing. (PubMed Health. com) EBV is contagious. This virus lives in saliva, or spit as you could say, and can live for several hours outside the body, hence the “kissing disease”, but sharing forks, spoons, knives, The kising disease 4 foods, drinks, or toys, especially in a daycare setting, are the most common ways to transmit mono. Live EBV can stay in the saliva, or spit for 6 months, and is present right after being infected with mono.
EBV remains dormant, which does not cause any illness or signs of illness, in the body for the rest of your life, it can appear in your saliva periodically, throughout your lifetime. EBV can also be spread through blood transfusions as well as sexual contact. (Bodansky, H. J. 1979) The virus usually multiplies with no signs of infection, for 30-50 days after infection, once the fever appears, it often lasts for a week or two. The major symptoms usually last for a week or two if there are no complications. THE major symptoms can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Some people continue to feel tired for months and sometimes years after they have been infected with EBV. (Bender, C. E. 1967) Mono is diagnosed, or suspected on a physical examination and history upon assessment. The liver and spleen will more than likely be enlarged, and swollen glands are often noticed by the patient or family. Mono is diagnosed with a blood test. Blood tests that will be done include, a WBC- or white blood cell count, which will be higher than normal, a monospot test, will be positive for infectious mononucleosis, and an antibody titer tells the difference between a current and previous infection.
If children are actively infected and under the age of 4 years, the common blood test that is used is usually negative. No matter what the age, the blood test is often negative during the first weeks of infection, so blood tests could lead to a false diagnosis.. Mono should be suspected if positive strep does not get any better with antibiotic therapy. (Bender, C. E. 1967).
The kising disease 5 There are some complications of mononucleosis which include a bacterial infection of the throat, which is usually strep throat, hemolytic anemia, hepatitis involving jaundice, swelling of the testicles, Guillain-Barre syndrome Meningitis, seizures, paralysis of the face, which is temporary, also known as Bell’s Palsy, and uncoordinated movements. Death could be a possibility in people with an immune system that is already weakened. (Bender, C. E. 1967) The biggest feared complication from mono is a ruptured spleen. All contact sports should be avoided for 6-8 weeks or whatever your healthcare provider decides what is best, until the spleen is no longer swollen and at risk for rupture.
Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and symptomatic treatment which include, rinsing, or swishing warm salt water in your mouth to ease a sore throat, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat not so severe pain and fever, are some of the main treatments. Steroids work quickly to relieve symptoms and are sometimes used in treatment, but your health care provider will use these cautiously because of the risk of suppressing the immune system even more. (Bodansky, H. J. 1979).
Teach your children to not share drinks, foods, or forks and spoons is the best prevention in spreading mono. Almost all of the world population has been or will be effected with the EBV. (Bodansky, H. J. 1979).
My 15 year old son was diagnoses with mono this past week, so I chose to do my paper over this disease. I bought several books and was doing extensive research on this before I realized this was on my list of communicable diseases to research. When school started three The kising disease 6 weeks ago I noticed the unusual fatigue, but I blamed it on the fact that he was not used to getting up in the mornings like any normal teen that stays up all night in the summer.
This last week he developed the sore throat and swollen glands, as the disease progressed he got the rash, covering most of his face, a few on his hands and arms and a few on his ankles. I was quick to jump to the conclusion that this was the new strain of hand, foot, mouth that was affecting teens, but blood tests seem to how different along with several different health care providers telling me the same diagnosis.
I am glad I quarantined him to his room because I have 2 smaller children in the home. This paper has helped me gain a lot more knowledge about the disease and treatments. The kising disease 7.
References Bender, C. E. (1967). Infectious Mononucleosis, New York: Mayo Clinic Bodansky, H. J. (1979).