How Does Mono Affect The Body?

How Does Mono Affect The Body?

Mono or infectious mononucleosis is a viral infection usually caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It mainly spreads through body secretions through intimate physical contact mainly by saliva. This is also known as the kissing disease as it spreads mainly through saliva, it also can spread through the uterine cervix, seminal fluid and rarely through blood transfusions. Mono is commonly seen in teenagers and young adults but it can occur at any age. EBV infects about 90% of the adult population but most patient’s symptoms go unnoticed and they might never know they had the disease.

The incubation period of EBV virus is typically 4-6 weeks; EBV virus can be transmitted to other people by children in 10-14 days and in adults 30-50 days after the infection. EBV first replicates within the nasopharyngeal epithelial cells and then invades the B cells of the innate immune system. While circulating through the lymphatic system the B cells spread the infection to the liver, spleen, lymph nodes and to the entire reticuloendothelial system. The infected B lymphocytes triggers the immune response (cellular-mediated and antibody-mediated). The cellular-mediated T lymphocyte immune response destroys the infected B lymphocytes. The T lymphocyte response it very crucial for the manifestation of clinical features, if the T lymphocyte response is faster the symptoms are mild, and the prognosis is good with lifelong immunity. Ineffective T lymphocyte response can lead the development of B cell lymphoma because of the uncontrolled B lymphocyte proliferation.

Fever is due the release of cytokines by the immune system in response to the EBV infected B lymphocytes. The increased levels of lymphocytes are because of the circulating activated B and T lymphocytes. The sore throat or pharyngitis is due to the infiltration of the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue in the oropharynx by the EBV-infected B lymphocytes.

Symptoms Of Mono

  • High fever – 104 – 105°F temperature, the fever might last for about one or two weeks and there will be fever spikes seen in the afternoon or early evening
  • Severe sore throat is a symptom of mono
  • Red swollen tonsils covered with pus
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin
  • Severe malaise and fatigue – this can be present for several weeks even 6 months
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain nausea
  • Rash

The severity of mono symptoms and how long they last changes from individual to individual, however, younger children have less symptoms and a milder disease. Older children and adults have a more severe infection with more symptoms which usually last for about 4-6 weeks or sometimes even much longer. This is the way mono affect the body.

Conclusion

Mono or infectious mononucleosis is a viral infection usually caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It mainly spreads through body secretions through intimate physical contact mainly by saliva. Mono is commonly seen in teenagers and young adults but it can occur at any age. EBV infects about 90% of the adult population but most patient’s symptoms go unnoticed and they might never know they had the disease. Mono affects the body by giving rise to the following symptoms high fever, severe sore throat, red swollen tonsils covered with pus, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin, severe malaise and fatigue, muscle aches, headache, abdominal pain nausea, and rash.

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