Who doesn’t enjoy a good kiss? It’s a sign of love after all. However, for decades, a kiss has also been a risk. Behind each saliva swap is the kissing disease, Mononucleosis. Mono as it is usually called is called the kissing disease due to the fact it is transmitted through saliva. While it’s possible to transmit it through kissing, that’s just one way.
Mononucleosis is different from many diseases in that the symptoms are more pronounced in certain life stages. Young children often have no symptoms and people never even know that they had mono in the first. Knowing the facts about mono can help with diagnosis and with easy treatment.
Causes of Mononucleosis
As mentioned, mono is called the kissing disease due to the transmission of Mono. One of the interesting parts of mono is that it can actually be caused by many different viruses. The most common virus that is associated with mono is the Epstein-Barr virus. This specific virus accounts for the majority of cases of Mono. The thing about Epstein-Barr is that it’s very common. Many adults have actually already been exposed to it throughout their life. From this exposure, their bodies have built up proper antibodies and a resistance. Therefore, they won’t get mono. This means that children and teens are where the vast majority of cases are found. Teens and young adults in particular are the most likely to both get mono and show off the symptoms of it.
As mentioned, mono is transferred through saliva. In addition to kissing, it’s very common for people to get mono simply by sharing a drink with someone else. Sharing utensils will also provide an avenue for transmission. Finally, sneezing or coughing at someone due to some other issue can spread the virus without people realizing it.
Symptoms of Mononucleosis
The symptoms of mono are thankfully not the most dangerous out there. They are certainly uncomfortable and last for a long time, but could be much worse. Symptoms of mono include:
- Fatigue - This may be the trademark symptom. Many people feel incredible fatigue and spend a lot of time napping or sleeping.
- Fever - Another very common symptom, fever will almost always occur with mono.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes - These happy in the neck and sometimes also in the armpits.
- Tonsil Swelling - If someone still has their tonsils, they may expect to feel them swell up in the throat.
- Sore throat - This symptom can be misdiagnosed. The sore throat is difficult to get rid of and doesn’t respond to antibiotics.
- Headaches - This may be the most common symptom of all conditions, but is seen in people with mono as well.
- Swollen Spleen - It’s also possible to feel like the spleen is tender to the touch when pressing on the abdomen to feel it.
Symptoms of mono doesn’t disappear quickly. Symptoms build until the fever peaks, and then will last between two weeks and a month at full strength. After that, the symptoms will lessen until they disappear.
Treatment of Mononucleosis
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton that can be done for mono. Since it’s a virus, antibiotics won’t do anything to help. This means that treatment basically falls into the same category as a cold, rest and get fluids. Anyone with mono should try to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible.
If symptoms get really strong, some over the counter medications can be taken to alleviate symptom issues. It’s pretty common for people to take something for the sore throat so that it’s not too serious. If they don’t want medication, people can also gargle with salt water to reduce the sore throat. This needs to be done several times per day.