Sometimes referred to as the kissing disease, mononucleosis (mono) is a viral infection that you may contract through saliva or possible other bodily fluid, depending on the virus. Fortunately, long-term complications are rare. Moreover, an urgent care facility offers testing and can help you manage your symptoms. Plus, if you receive a diagnosis, you’ll know to take precautions to prevent others from acquiring it.
Overview of Mono
Mono is a viral infection, meaning it comes from a nonliving organism that requires your cells to host it to replicate. Most often, the Epstein-Barr virus causes mono. However, you may also develop mono from the following viruses:
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
As mentioned above, people often transmit mono through saliva; however, blood and semen may also contain viruses that contribute to mono.
Symptoms of Mono
Adults can build up immunity to the Epstein-Barr virus, so they may not experience any symptoms from it. In other words, this infection most often affects both young adults and adolescents. Fortunately, in younger children, the symptoms are usually mild.
If you develop this infection though, you may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Swollen armpit and neck lymph nodes
- Swollen tonsils
- Skin rash
Your spleen may soften and swell, but you usually won’t exhibit symptoms from it.
Generally, the symptoms you experience will last between four to six weeks. Typically, younger children may not experience symptoms for this long.
Diagnostic Process for Mono
When you come into an urgent care, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms. Your physician will also ask you when your symptoms started. Next, your practitioner will conduct a physical examination and will check for swelling in your lymph nodes.
To check your lymph nodes, your doctor will check your lymph nodes visually and will also feel your lymph nodes to check for swelling. Your doctor will also look at your tonsils to look for inflammation.
Sometimes, this part of the exam is enough to diagnose you with mono. However, your physician may perform antibody testing or a white blood cell count. The antibody test is a blood test that checks for the Epstein-Barr virus.
Your practitioner may also request a complete blood count (CBC), which is a blood test. This lab test identifies if you have a higher than usual number of white blood cells or ones that don’t look normal. Although a doctor can’t use CBC results to diagnose mono, a physician can identify if you have an infection through this test.
Treatment for Mono
If your doctor determines you have mono, you won’t receive a prescription. As of now, no treatment for mono exists. You may receive a prescription if your doctor determined you have another infection at the same time as your mono, though.
Since treatment isn’t possible, your practitioner will educate you on ways to reduce your symptoms. Your doctor will also recommend you take it easy for a few weeks to avoid a relapse of your symptoms. Additionally, your practitioner may recommend that you refrain from vigorous activities to avoid a possible ruptured spleen.
Complications from Mono
Not everyone is fortunate enough to only have the aforementioned symptoms. In fact, although it’s rare, your spleen may enlarge from mono. Moreover, your spleen may rupture in the more serious cases. Unfortunately, a ruptured spleen is a medical emergency that might require surgical intervention. In addition, mono can cause jaundice or hepatitis if it affects your liver.
In rare cases, you may develop anemia. Other rare complications from mono include heart problems, nervous system issues, and thrombocytopenia.
For individuals who have HIV/AIDS or another immune impairment, the Epstein-Barr virus can cause more serious complications.
Mono isn’t highly contagious, but this viral infection can cause complications in some individuals. If you have symptoms, you may visit an urgent care that has the necessary lab testing to diagnose your condition.
Contact Walking Urgent Care, Inc, serving Coral Springs, FL and the nearby region, if you have symptoms of mono.