Mononucleosis FAQs

Posted on: November 2, 2018

Frequently asked questions about mononucleosis

How do you get mononucleosis?

The primary means of mononucleosis transmission is by physical exposure to the body fluids of a diseased person, either through sexual intercourse, kissing or using utensils. Although it is rare, mononucleosis can be transferred via blood transfusion and organ transplant.

Is mononucleosis communicable?

Yes, mononucleosis, or Epstein-Barr virus, can be contracted and usually transmitted through direct contact with disease-ridden body fluids or airborne saliva elements. Although a patient can recover entirely from mononucleosis, the causative virus usually remains in the body indefinitely. This means the disease can still be transferred after recovery.

Can mononucleosis be averted after physical contact with the diseased person?

Not all exposure to Epstein-Barr virus results in an infection. Studies have shown that only one in four people who are exposed to the virus actually show symptoms. Infection is primarily based on the level of immunity of the person. You can boost your immune system by eating and living healthily.

What is the typical duration of mononucleosis infection?

The duration of the disease usually differs among different people, but symptoms generally persist for about two to four weeks. There have been instances when the symptoms continued for several months.

What is the incubation period of mononucleosis?

The incubation period is the time the virus spends in the body before the first apparent symptoms. The typical incubation of Epstein-Barr virus is between four to six weeks.

What is the common age of mononucleosis infection?

You can get mononucleosis at any age, but the common time of infection is during adolescence. It is rampant among young people between the ages of 15 and 19.

Can I still get mononucleosis after recovery?

Although patients usually get the infection once in a lifetime, it may reoccur, especially in people with a weakened immune system. It is possible to prevent reoccurrence of mononucleosis by boosting the immune system to prevent reactivation.

Is mononucleosis deadly?

Mononucleosis usually is typically not deadly, but severe cases can turn deadly if neglected and left untreated. Complications due to the disease include liver or spleen conditions, which have been noted to result in death in some patients.

What is the method of diagnosis?

Once the infection sets in, different symptoms could occur at the same time. If a patient shows signs of mononucleosis, medical attention should be sought immediately. To diagnose mononucleosis, the doctor will perform physical evaluations to check for inflammation in the liver, lymph nodes and spleen.

This procedure is performed by pressing the abdomen gently to check if the liver is enlarged. The medical professional will also check the lymph nodes located in the neck and armpit. Any history of contact will be reviewed to know if the person has touched an infected person.

Series of blood tests will be conducted to check for heterophile antibodies in the blood. Heterophile antibodies are proteins manufactured by the immune system to combat Epstein-Barr virus infection. A total blood count may be required to determine if there is an increase in the white blood cells.

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