MONONUCLEOSIS, INFECTIOUS (Mono; "Kissing Disease")
(Mono; "Kissing Disease")
DESCRIPTIONInfectious mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that affects the respiratory system, liver, and lymphatic system. The lymph nodes, liver, spleen, throat, and bronchial tubes are involved. Infectious mononucleosis is most common in
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSFever.
Sore throat (sometimes severe).
Loss of appetite.
Swollen lymph glands, usually in the child's neck, underarms, or groin.
Jaundice with yellow skin and eyes (sometimes).
A contagious virus (Epstein-Barr virus) transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing, shared food, or coughing.
Illness that has lowered your child's resistance.
Fatigue or overwork. The high incidence among college students and military recruits may result from inadequate rest and crowded living conditions.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Your child should avoid contact with persons having infectious mononucleosis.
Vaccine (possibly). This is still in the experimental stages.
MEDICAL TESTSYour own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; laboratory blood tests.
Meningitis or encephalitis (rare).
Misdiagnosis as streptococcal sore throat, resulting in useless, unnecessary treatment with antibiotics.
Ruptured spleen, resulting in surgery.
Spontaneous recovery in 10 days to 6 months. The child's fatigue frequently persists for 3 to 6 weeks after other symptoms disappear.
To relieve the sore throat, the child should gargle frequently with double-strength tea or warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt to 8 oz. of water).
Your child should not strain hard for bowel movements. This may injure an enlarged spleen.
MEDICATIONFor minor discomfort, use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen. Your child should not take aspirin because of its suspected association with Reye's syndrome.
If symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe a short course of cortisone drugs. It is not safe to use cortisone drugs if your child has any of the following: a positive tuberculin skin test or history of tuberculosis, a viral eye infection, a chronic bacterial infection, diabetes, high blood pressure, diverticulitis, thrombophlebitis, or chronic kidney disease. It is also not safe to use cortisone drugs during pregnancy.
ACTIVITYRest in bed, especially when you have fever. Resume activity gradually. Rest when you are fatigued.
Don't participate in contact sports until at least 1 month after complete recovery.
Instructions for your child:
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Your child may not feel like eating while ill. Maintaining an adequate fluid intake is important. Encourage the child to drink at least 8 glasses of water or juice a day -- more during periods of high fever.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of infectious mononucleosis.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Fever over 102F (38.9C).
-- Constipation, which may cause straining.
-- Severe pain in the upper left abdomen that lasts for 5 minutes or more.
-- Swallowing or breathing difficulty from severe throat inflammation.