Mononucleosis, also known as mono or “the kissing disease”, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This infection is very common due to the fact that it is spread easily through the saliva of an infected person, by kissing, sharing a glass or food utensils, among others.
Although EBV can infect people of all ages, it is more common in adolescents and young people. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that this infection is more common in schools and universities.
Some people may develop a lot of symptoms, which is called mononucleosis syndrome. The symptoms are usually mild and the patient gets better with symptomatic treatment. However, many people don’t experience any symptoms when infected, and the infection is only detected years later as a casual or accidental find.
The following are the most common symptoms of mononucleosis syndrome:
Fever is a frequent symptom in mononucleosis, and rarely occurs on its own. It tends to be high, constant and difficult to control, and can reach temperatures of 103 or 104°F (39-40 °C). This symptom expresses the activation and the fight of the immune system against the Epstein-Barr virus.
It is important to know that mononucleosis must always be considered among the causes of fever of unknown origin (FUO) and if it appears again after some weeks of normal temperature, the patient must consult a doctor to determine the cause and avoid any complication.
2 Sore throat
The sore throat, also called pharyngitis, is one of the main symptoms of mononucleosis. The throat inflammation can produce severe pain and difficulty to swallow and, in some cases, this symptom can be confused with the pharyngitis produced by the Streptococcus infection.
The presence of petechiae (red, purple or brown spots on the skin, caused by a minor bleed from broken capillary blood vessels) in the veil of the palate is also very common but not exclusively from EBV infection.
More symptoms on next page…