Infectious mononucleosis or simply mono, is a mildly contagious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Infectious mononucleosis is also known as glandular fever or kissing disease. This viral infection is commonly found in children and young adults. Its symptoms include fever, sore throat, weakness, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, etc. It is usually not a serious condition. However, the symptoms can last for days and weeks together.
Causes and Transmission of Mononucleosis
As mentioned above, mononucleosis is a viral infectious disease, that is mildly contagious. It means, it can spread from one person to another through the exchange of saliva and mucus from throat or nose. As the disease is also known as the kissing disease, it is believed that it is caused only due to kissing. The disease can be spread due to kissing, but it is not the only cause.
As aforementioned, it spreads through direct person-to-person contact. While deep kissing, there is an exchange of saliva, and hence, there is a possibility of transmission of this disease. Kissing is one of the major reasons for the spread of mono in youth. However, it is not the only reason.
Mono is also spread by coughing, sneezing, sharing of personal items like towels, toothbrush, etc. On the other hand, using the same utensils as that of the person suffering from it or sharing the same food, eating from same plate, etc., also contributes in spreading of the disease from one person to the other.
However, one of the most important things to note is that not all people who kiss suffer from mononucleosis. Therefore, if a person has mono, it is improper to conclude that he has been a reckless kisser. As there are several other causes, one needs to consider them as well.
The person suffering from this disease should try to avoid contact with other people, specially children. Remember that mono is contagious, as long as the symptoms are observed. It can remain contagious for a couple of days or weeks. In case of chronic mononucleosis, the symptoms can last for more than 6 months. Sometimes, people suffering from mononucleosis themselves may not realize about this disease and may unknowingly spread the disease. Therefore, it is advisable not to share personal items with anyone. Children specially should be advised not to share plates, straws, spoons, etc., with anyone at school. One should remember that maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness helps in the prevention of this viral infectious disease.
If you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms lasting for a long time or appearing frequently, you need to consult the doctor for proper treatment. On a concluding note, one should remember that mononucleosis is not a severe disease and can be treated with the help of medications. However, it is always better to follow the preventive measures to avoid it from spreading around. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is purely for informative purposes, and should not be treated as a replacement for professional medical advice.