Tag Archives: mononucleosis

Fast Facts About Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is an extremely common viral illness affecting close to 95% of people at some point during their lifetimes. Let’s take a closer look at mono:

  • Mononucleosis (mono) is a prevalent and highly contagious viral illness.
  • Mono generally resolves itself but it may take time, plenty of rest as well as home remedies and OTC medications to ease some of the symptoms.
  • Mono is caused by a common viral strain called Epstein-Barr (EPV) of the herpesvirus family.
  • EPV remains in your system forever, usually dormant but occasionally reactivating which makes it contagious to others again. You will only get mono once.
  • It is very contagious, often spread by saliva, mucus or tears.
  • Because it is most often spread through close contact, it has been dubbed the “kissing disease”.
  • Mono can also be passed by sharing things like cups or personal grooming utensils.
  • Mono is most common among adolescents.
  • Some of the symptoms of mono include: headache, night sweats, high fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, sore throat.
  • Rare but potentially life-threatening complications of mono include swelling of the liver or swelling (or even bursting) of the spleen. If you have mono and feel intense pain in the left part of your stomach, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Some other rare complications of mono include: inflammation around the heart, anemia, meningitis or Gullain-Barre.
  • Vigorous sports activity is not encouraged if you have mono as it could cause internal swelling.
  • To diagnose mono, your doctor may order certain blood work, physically examine you as well as take your symptoms into account.
  • Resting is very important to overcome mono as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Symptoms of mono begin showing between 1-2 months after becoming infected and may last weeks to a month before you feel back to normal.
  • Children sometimes contract mono, however, it is uncommon and usually very mild.
  • Mono can strike nearly anyone but those who are more likely to contract mono include: the immunocompromised, adolescents and people who frequently come in contact with many other people such as students or medical professionals.

Thus concludes our peep at mononucleosis, thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any medical concerns, our board-certified doctors are standing by 24/7/365.

What Could be Causing Your Sore Throat? (Part 1)

We’ve all had a troublesome sore throat at some point in time and wondered if we should visit a doctor or if it will go away on its own. Sometimes a sore throat resolves itself, like in the case of a viral cold, but other times medication or other treatment is necessary to help it pass. The most common viral and bacterial causes of a sore throat include:

  1. Tonsillitis means inflamed tonsils. Tonsillitis can be caused by bacteria or more commonly, viruses. There are different treatments available for this affliction, depending on the type and severity of a person’s tonsillitis. If someone gets recurrent bacterial tonsillitis that doesn’t seem to respond well to antibiotics, they may be good candidates for a tonsillectomy, surgical removal of the problematic tonsils.

  2. A viral cold – Viral sore throats are usually accompanied by other head-cold symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes and sneezing. This type of sore throat will pass after a week or so. Antibiotics will not help a viral cold, it is irresponsible to take or prescribe antibiotics for a known virus as it contributes to antibiotic resistance. Plenty of rest, OTC cold medications and home remedies like drinking honey lemon tea may help ease symptoms.

  3. A bacterial cold – Though it is less common than a viral cold, sometimes certain bacteria are responsible for a cold, flu or bout of tonsillitis or bronchitis. All these ailments can produce a sore throat. Your doctor will be able to determine what type of sore throat you have and prescribe any necessary antibiotic treatment.

  4. Strep throat is a more persistent and severe type of sore throat that is caused by streptococcus bacteria and requires medical treatment to get better. Strep throat can also lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever if left untreated. Your doctor will usually be able to see signs of strep such as red and white blotchy patches in the back of the throat, but will do a rapid strep test to find out for sure and then administer medication accordingly.
  5. Mononucleosis – Also known as “mono”, this contagious condition often presents as a cold for the first week, but the symptoms persist and include swollen lymph nodes, a very sore throat and fatigue. The condition itself doesn’t usually cause many issues and can be resolved with medication, however if medical attention is not sought, there can be life-threatening complications such as an enlarged spleen that may rupture, liver problems or myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle.

Stay tuned next for other causes of sore throats like allergies and other conditions. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board certified doctors are around 24/7/365 if you have any questions about sore throats!