Mono is also called mononucleosis or kissing disease. It is caused by virus namely Epstein-Barr virus. This virus is transmitted through deep kissing, sharing utensils or tableware, blood transfusion or organ transplants. It develops mostly in young age with no noticeable symptoms which appear in adulthood. It is a mildly contagious disease that resolves on its own in the majority of patients. However, in a few cases, it may cause serious illness like the enlarged spleen or enlarged liver. It can be treated but cannot be cured.
Can Mono Be Cured?
Mononucleosis or mono cannot be cured. Its symptoms can be managed. However, mono usually resolves on its own in a few weeks without treatment. Some people who develop complications from mono may require treatment. Its treatment depends on the course of illness and the presence of other complications.
There is no known medicine that can cure the EBV infection. There is no vaccine known in the market that can prevent the infection. Antiviral medicines are found to be non-effective in mono. The benefits of these medicines are uncertain in mono.
Even if mono goes on its own, fatigue may take six months or more to recover completely. Some recover in a few weeks and some may take more time. Children may join their schools soon after the fever has gone but they are still contagious for a couple of months.
The only way to prevent mono is to avoid contact with the infected person. The best way is to avoid kissing the infected person who is diagnosed with mono.
Medicines that are prescribed to treat symptoms and complications resulted from mono are-
Painkillers– medicines like acetaminophen are prescribed to reduce pain in the muscles.
Anti-inflammatory Medicines– anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin are given to relieve fever and inflammatory changes caused by mono. It also relieves body aches. But aspirin is not given to children under the age of 19 years. It is because it may cause rare and serious complication namely Reye’s syndrome.
Corticosteroids– corticosteroids might be given to treat anemia and low platelet count.
Steroid Medications– steroid medicines may be given to reduce the swelling in the tonsils.
Medicated Gargles– a gargle mixture containing Benadryl, Maalox and lidocaine is prescribed to relieve a sore throat.
Antibiotics– Antibiotics are normally not prescribed in mono as it is a viral disease. Moreover, antibiotics may cause rashes in the skin. It is prescribed only for cases where strep throat or bacterial sinus infection develops along with mono. Amoxicillin or penicillin can be used for such conditions and rashes do not appear if a bacterial infection is present.
Other measures to recover from mono-
Rest– mono causes fatigue for a long time. So, it is beneficial to take full rest to recover completely from the disease.
Sleep– the patient should have normal sleep patterns. He should have sufficient sleep to recover from fatigue as body and mind heals when you sleep.
Salt Gargles– gargling with salt water can relieve the soreness in the throat.
Plenty of Fluids– plenty of fluids should be consumed throughout the whole day to recover fast and stay hydrated. These fluids can be water, soups, and juices. It is better to opt for unsweetened fruit juices.
Balanced Diet– mono may affect the appetite of a person. The appetite may be reduced. One should consume simple balanced food to maintain the energy levels of the body.
Alcohol– alcohol must be stopped completely if you are diagnosed with mono. This is because mono itself exerts extra strain on the liver.
Mono is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. This viral disease settles on its own without treatment in many cases. Rest, plenty of fluids and a healthy diet can improve the condition. This disease can be managed but it cannot be cured.
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