Mononucleosis, also known as mono, is a phenomenon wherein an infection causing virus, results in fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes and tiredness. This is a common disease observed among children. This disease is transmitted through saliva and is famously known as the ‘kissing disease’.
Signs and Symptoms
If your kid is suffering from mononucleosis, you need to be aware of the following symptoms – sore throat, swollen glands, fever, skin rashes, loss of appetite, headache, etc. These are just the external observable symptoms of this disease. There might also be organ swelling in some cases, such as – swelling in the spleen. If you observe any of these symptoms, go to your doctor immediately.
However, there is one advantage of getting mononucleosis at an early age; the symptoms are mild and not as harmful as they would have been at a later age.
Mononucleosis is caused by the virus Epstein-Barr virus (EVB). This spreads when children put their toys in their mouths or share utensils that are infected with the virus or even by just being in the path of the infected person’s cough or sneeze.
No vaccine has yet been found out to counter mono, and hence prevention is better than cure. Primarily, make sure that your kids stay away from other persons who are infected by this disease. Ask your kids to wash their hands properly, before and after meals. Also, induce in them a habit of washing up after coming back from outdoors.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Most of the times, doctors do not particularly test the blood of toddlers for this disease. More often, it is an uncommon condition and goes away within 2-4 weeks. At times, the symptoms go away, but tiredness may still remain and your baby might take several months to completely come back to normal.
It is only when an external, as well as an internal examination of the body, is done that the doctors are able to figure out the presence of this condition. A swollen spleen, enlarged gums, etc. could be signs of mononucleosis.
In terms of treatment, this disease does not have any particular special care that needs to be taken. Most doctors recommend the same measures as one needs, to take for a common cold. Doctors also advise children to avoid all forms of sports until they are completely cured of mono. This is mainly to avoid any further damage to the spleen. Even mild wrestling with siblings is something that the doctors might ask you to keep an eye on.
The best treatment undoubtedly remains plenty of rest. Parents should note that they ought not to give aspirin to their children while suffering from mono, even though it might seem like a quick solution.
Most children recover completely without facing any complications while facing this condition. In rare cases, though, complications such as – issues with the liver or spleen, anaemia, meningitis, breathing problems, inflammation of the heart, etc. may occur.
All being said, mono is not an extremely harmful disease and is almost equivalent to a cold, only with a longer period of recovery. However, if this period seems to linger for more than necessary, talk to your doctor.