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You may have heard it called “the kissing disease,” but mono is actually a viral infection called mononucleosis. Many myths surround this contagious disease, which passes from person-to-person and usually lasts about two to four weeks.
At Urgent Care of Ada, in Ada, Oklahoma, our experienced providers want to help you separate fact from fiction because when you know the truth, you can take steps to reduce your risk of getting mono or spreading it to other people.
FACT: Kissing is only one way mononucleosis spreads. The virus that causes mono spreads through droplets in the air. That means any contact with the saliva of an infected person can spread the disease, including:
You can also contract mono from sharing beverages with an infected person.
FACT: Mono usually runs its course in about two to four weeks. Unfortunately, for some people, it’s possible for the fatigue mono causes to last longer than the viral symptoms. In these cases, the affected person may feel run down and tired for six months or longer.
FACT: Most people do feel fatigued with mono, but mono can cause different symptoms, and they can range from mild-to-severe. Typically, symptoms don’t appear for four to six weeks after exposure to an infected person’s saliva. These symptoms usually last two to four weeks and include:
Mono also causes swollen lymph nodes. The most commonly affected lymph nodes include those in the groin, neck, and armpits.
FACT: Mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Although researchers are making progress toward a vaccine, it doesn’t yet exist. Fortunately, promising studies indicate a vaccine could be on the way.
FACT: Though it’s true that teenagers do often contract mono, anyone, from infants to the elderly, can get this viral disease. In fact, most people have been infected with EBV at some point in their lives. When you contract the virus as a young child, you may not have any noticeable symptoms, or your symptoms may be very mild.
FACT: For most people, mono resolves on its own without medical intervention. Because the disease is caused by a virus, antibiotic treatments aren’t effective. Instead, rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications to help with fever and muscle aches are required for most people.
In some cases, however, mono can cause complications, like hepatitis and an enlarged spleen. In rare cases, it can cause your heart to become inflamed and lead to heart failure. As such, if you think you have mono, be sure to visit your provider at Urgent Care of Ada for an accurate diagnosis.
Ready to learn more myths and facts about mono? Contact the healthcare experts at Urgent Care of Ada at our Ada, Oklahoma, office by calling 580-215-6975. You can also book an appointment online at your convenience.