Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is a widespread viral disease, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Most often children and young people are affected, and sometimes (such as in schools or barracks) small outbreaks of infectious mononucleosis occur.
The incubation period lasts for 8 to 21 days, symptoms of disease manifestations are diverse – еypically, fever, deteriorating health, angina. During the acute phase of the disease usually posterior cervical lymph nodes are affected, at least – axillary and inguinal, and increased spleen. Also, sometimes slight inflammation of the liver may appear, or inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis).
- Lack of appetite.
- Headache, sore throat, extremities.
- Submandibular posterior cervical lymph nodes are enlarged.
- Rash resembling measles or rubella.
It is an acute infectious disease, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, belonging to the group of herpes family Herpesviridae. The source of infection – a sick person. Infection occurs through airborne droplets (usually with saliva, such as kissing). Further through the salivary gland disease enters the lymphoid tissue, then – in the spleen and liver. The man, who overcame the disease, is a vector of 6 months.
Bed rest is required in the acute phase of the disease. Usually the doctor prescribes an antiviral, but such treatment is not always effective.
Rinsing the mouth with antiseptic solutions is recommended. At a temperature, headache and pain, which are caused by enlarged lymph nodes, antipyretic and analgesic drugs are used, for example, acetylsalicylic acid.
For prolonged sore throat or swollen lymph nodes you should see a doctor. The above symptoms may be symptoms of diphtheria, strep throat, hepatitis, meningitis, leukemia. For diagnosis specialists examine your blood.
If the disease occurs without complications, in addition to bed rest, antipyretics are appointed.
In severe disease development glucocorticoids are sometimes used (eg, prednisone), which increase the endurance and performance of the heart, liver and nervous system. To prevent bacterial infection of the tonsils often for preventive doctor prescribes antibiotics.
Course of the disease
Most often, infectious mononucleosis occurs in 2-3 weeks. Even with the full recovery of man for a long time lymph nodes can be enlarged. Residual irreversible damage in this disease is rare. Only with the development of severe infectious mononucleosis meningitis, anemia, myocarditis may be, and visual disturbances may occur.
Is it a dangerous disease?
This disease is not dangerous, but can sometimes cause serious complications, such as internal bleeding, heart failure. Also, the spleen may increase. Epstein-Barr virus was first associated with the process of malignant tumors in the body. Most of the probability of occurrence of tumors (nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma) occurs in people who have had the infection.
With infectious mononucleosis you should contact your doctor. In order to rule out more serious diseases (such as diphtheria, hepatitis or meningitis), physicians need to thoroughly examine the patient and accurate diagnosis.