Mononucleosis In Teens – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Mononucleosis In Teens – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The Epstein-Barr virus enters the lymph nodes and attacks the lymphocytes (the white blood cells manufactured there). Infection with EBV is characterized by fatigue and general malaise. Other viruses in the herpes family cause cold sores and illnesses like chickenpox. Originally it was called the kissing disease as it was believed human contact had to be made but we now know today that this is not the case. The antibiotics will clear up strep throat in a couple days to a week. If it has been less than 12 months since you were diagnosed with EBV, you will need to provide substantial evidence that due to the severity of your condition, or other complications, your symptoms are expected to last longer than a year. They identified the Epstein Barr Virus as a member of the herpes family.

had yet to be described. Those with a diminished immune system will have difficulty fighting the disease and it will persist for longer periods of time. The challenge with the EBV is that it is not well understood by scientists and doctors and it affects people very differently. But they may not know that they have the virus in its early stages. Although rare in Caucasian populations, NPC has endemic clusters in Alaskan Eskimos, Indians, and Aleuts. At first, people usually don’t feel sick after getting infected with the EBV virus. So someone could be infected — and be spreading mono — and not even know it.

As we mention earlier, mononucleosis is more common among teens than adults. Other symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits and the groin area, skin rash, loss of appetite and night sweats. The infection often goes unnoticed initially because it begins with mild symptoms like throat pain and fever. There is no specific treatment plan for Mono. The anterior segment was totally normal and IOP (15 and 16 mm Hg in the right and left eye, respectively) was normal in both eyes as well. Others develop a red rash that spreads all over their body. That said, questions still remain as to what determines symptom occurrence/severity and, in particular, what distinguishes early from late infections.

Of course, you may not like to hear of it, but your adolescent may be sexually active and could indulge in a lot of kissing. This may be the reason for his infection. But, you can heave a sigh of relief as once the doctor diagnosis mono in your teen, one of the first things he will ask your adolescent to do is refrain from kissing people and sharing glasses, spoons, and toothbrushes. Typically, mono is not a life-threatening infection. The symptoms subside without the need for medical intervention. If you play contact sports, such as football and basketball, you will probably need to avoid them while you’re sick and for about a month after the illness — especially if your spleen is enlarged. Clinical depression and fatigue may persist for months.

In the meantime, your teen may have the mono-induced fever for nearly two weeks. The swollen lymph nodes may last up to four weeks, and it may take several weeks for your kid’s energy levels go back to normal. The mono-associated spleen inflammation can complicate things. What are symptoms of Mono? The complications are rare with mono as the infection dissipates by itself with adequate rest and hydration. Get rid of smoking, caffeine and alcohol (all mitochondria poison!) Finally get more sunlight, to increase your Vitamin D levels to build a strong robust immune system. You can laugh if you want, but there is a valid reason for this moniker.

6. Coping With Cold Sores You may have had a cold sore, but what are they exactly? Find out in this article for kids. The virus is found in the saliva and mucus of an infected person. While this virus is highly contagious, it does not usually spread by casual contact. This means that you and the rest of the family can still stay in the same house as your infected teen, but not contract mono. But the moment you and your teen begin sharing eating utensils and glasses, the chances are high that the infection will spread.

Real-time quantitative PCR of the CSF was negative for herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, human herpes virus-6 and −8, human T-lymphotropic virus and Enterovirus, but was positive for EBV. Individuals who have an enlarged spleen should not participate in any contact sports or activities for four weeks. Again, in more recent studies, infants in Africa acquire the virus apparently asymptomatically, yet they exhibit very high PBMC viral loads [23, 24]; furthermore, such infants can mount individual EBV epitope-specific responses that, by tetramer staining, amount to 5%–15% of the CD8+ T-cell pool, but the CD8+ population as a whole is not expanded to IM-like levels (Jayasooriya et al, unpublished data). Statistics show EBV infects 95% of the population in the U.S. [4] Once your teen gets mono, the virus will stay put in a latent state for the rest of his life. The virus will not cause any symptom. Statistics also reveal that about 90% people have antibodies for EBV by the time they reach the age of 40.

This means this group of the population is relatively immune to the infection-causing virus. CMV is also quite common. Golden Seal increases blood supply to the spleen and activates liver phagocytic function. Such individuals will be carriers and infect those with weakened immune system. People with a healthy immune system may get mono on being exposed to the virus. In the U.S., CMV infection is common among kids and adults between the ages of 10 and 35 [5]. Quiz!!

If symptoms occur, it can be mild and similar to a cold. Just like EBV, CMV also stays put in the body, but there is a chance it will reactivate. When it does, it can cause symptoms in people with weakened immune system. Infectious mononucleosis in middle age. People who are carriers of the virus are the most common source of transmission of mono. They have the virus in their bodily fluids, such as saliva, semen, and blood. As stated earlier, the virus spread through saliva exchange, which occurs during intimate kissing.

It also passes to others through blood transfusion, sexual contact and organs transplants. Newly infected people become the primary source of infection without realizing it. They spread the virus to others before they have symptoms. In our case, the patient had a history of EBV encephalitis, confirmed by serological CSF testing, although blood specimens were normal. In fact, as stated several times, people between the ages of 15 and 25 years are the most susceptible group when it comes to mono. The chances of your adolescent contracting mononucleosis increase if he is constantly in a crowded place, such as dormitory and college hostel. This is because in such places the likelihood of sharing eating and drinking utensils is high.

Though mono in teens is a common infection, the disease may not always manifest signs and symptoms. This is particularly the case with little children and adults. The symptoms are most prominent in individuals in the age group of 15 to 25 years. Once your teen gets infected, there is an incubation period of about four to six weeks. Then the symptoms appear and last for anywhere from one week to four weeks. While the signs of mono in teens go away with bed rest, it could take as long as two to six months before your child feels healthy again to lead his regular life. The mono symptoms in teens are very similar to a sore throat and strep throat.

Mononucleosis In Teens – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
This could result in your doctor prescribing antibiotics, like amoxicillin. On taking the antibiotics, your child could develop a skin rash. This is a reaction to the medication, but not an allergic reaction. The worst effect of mono is enlargement of the spleen. Your adolescent’s spleen could swell up two to four times its normal size. The inflammation makes the spleen extremely tender, and in the worst case scenario, it could rupture. Hamilton, Ontario: B.

If your child complains of sharp and sudden pain in the upper left side of his abdomen, it’s a medical emergency. His spleen may have ruptured. Teenagers who have an impaired immune system or who have a rare genetic condition, like X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome, may experience the symptoms of mono longer than a couple of months. The doctor will diagnose mono based on a physical examination and a few other tests. During the physical examination, the health practitioner may ask your teen questions regarding his symptoms and lifestyle. He may also check your child’s throat, skin, and abdomen to look for signs of the infection. Mononucleosis tests include the monospot test and the EBV antibody test.

The monospot test may turn out negative even when your child has mono. The false negative occurs when the test is conducted too early to detect the presence of the virus. A complete blood count is necessary for differential diagnosis. It allows the doctor to evaluate the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and look for infections that have symptoms similar to mononucleosis. Typically, patients with mono have an elevated rate of erythrocyte sedimentation [7]. If your kid has mono, his WBC count will show a high level of lymphocytes. If the lymphocyte count is low or normal, it will require an alternative diagnosis.

In the initial few weeks of the infection, lymphocyte count will be high, and then slowly it returns to normal. If the monospot test is negative and your kid still has characteristic symptoms of mononucleosis, the doctor will suggest a test for CMV. This involves blood culture to grow the virus in the lab and check the blood for CMV-specific antibodies. There is no specific treatment for mono in teens. Hence, the doctor will suggest complete bed rest until the symptoms abate. During recuperation, your teen will have low energy levels. You can combat this with nutritious food and plenty of fluids.

Your healthcare practitioner may prescribe medication for secondary infections. If your child has a sore throat brought on by mono, he may develop strep throat, tonsillitis or sinus infection. 20. Some kids with mono develop skin rash due to antibiotics. Typically, antibiotics like amoxicillin and other penicillin derivatives are not ideal for patients with mono. Don’t panic if your teen gets a rash. It is not an allergic reaction.

Chances of developing a rash after taking antibiotics are minimal if the treatment is for secondary infections that occur alongside mono. Just keep your doctor in the loop should your kid get a rash. Severe pain in the left side of the abdomen. It is a sign your adolescent has a ruptured spleen Your teen’s tonsils are so swollen that he finds it difficult to breathe through his mouth. In the case of complications brought on by mono, your medical practitioner may prescribe corticosteroids. These steroids help in reducing swelling of the spleen and throat. Corticosteroids may also lessen the duration of the infection, but have the tendency to cause other side effects in the long-term.

Hence, doctors don’t prescribe corticosteroids if there are no complications. Unless your teen has a serious complication due to mono, home care is what he needs. There is no need for medication to hasten the recovery. The right home care also prevents complications. The best way to start the recovery process is to keep your teen at home and ensure he gets enough bed rest. This allows the body to heal and fight off the infection. Also, rest will help with the fatigue that your teenager will experience.

After consulting with your doctor, you can give your teen acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the fever and body aches. If your teen is under 15, refrain from giving him aspirin. It can lead to Reye’s Syndrome, which is a serious liver problem. You can combat the sore throat with saltwater gargles. Let your teen gargle several times a day. 26. Even after the symptoms abate, do not let your child indulge in contact sports, like football and basketball.

Remember, his spleen will be inflamed, and it will take time for the spleen to go back to its normal size. Until such time, any blow to the abdomen can rupture the spleen. With these home care tips, you will notice a considerable difference in your kid’s mono symptoms. Of course, recovery will take a month or so. Hence, make sure you have enough books and other things to keep your adolescent occupied. We don’t advocate visits from friends, as your teen could transmit the infection to them. The more rest your child has, the more energetic he will feel, and it will reduce the chances of relapse.

Typically, your teen should recover from mono with no signs of long-term problems. The fatigue brought on by the infection will persist for a few months, even after the other symptoms and the fever disappear. Severe complications due to mono in teens are rare, but not impossible. Your teen may get myocarditis in the initial three weeks of the infection. It leads to pain in the chest, arrhythmia, palpitations and in the worst case scenario, heart failure. Once your teen has mono, it is best to prevent him from donating blood. While the virus can be latent, it can be present in your child’s blood, and this could transmit the virus to anyone who receives the tainted blood.

The good news is once your teen gets mono, the chances are minimal that the infection will recur. However, the virus doesn’t leave the body, so your teen could get the symptoms of the infection if the virus reactivates. Even though your teen will have EBV, and the virus may wake up from its latent state, you may not have any symptoms. Even if your child gets the symptoms, they will be mild, similar to the flu. Hence, he may not notice them. On the other hand, if your teen has a weak immune system, the reactivation of the virus could bring on the symptoms with a vengeance. A weakened immune system can occur due to a common cold or another chronic ailment, such as HIV/AIDS.

Since there is no way to prevent your teen from contracting mono, the best way to handle the infection is to take it in your stride. 32. So spend time with him. You or any other family member cannot contract the infection from your teen unless saliva exchange or sharing of utensils takes place. So you can rest assured. It is tough to get through mono since the fatigue can last for several months. However, make sure your adolescent gets enough rest to begin the healing process.

With no cure for mono, bed rest and staying hydrated are the best way to overcome the symptoms and return to normal life.

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