It was the beginning of the school semester, and your son just couldn’t shake his fatigue and sore throat. He was never one to complain about being sick, so you knew it was time to see the doctor. The diagnosis was mononucleosis, or as most people call it, mono.
Alison Nash, MD, pediatrician with Washington University Clinical Associates – Nash Pediatrics, explains, “Several viruses can cause mono, but the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common. Teenagers or young adults are most likely to get hit hardest with the classic mono symptoms. Young children with mono often go undiagnosed because they have few or mild symptoms. Symptoms can show up anywhere from four to six weeks after someone is exposed to the virus.”
The virus is transmitted through saliva – so it can be spread through kissing, a cough or a sneeze, or sharing a glass or utensils with someone who has mono. Hand-washing is a must!
MONO SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
- Sore throat, perhaps a strep throat that doesn't get better with antibiotic use
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
- Swollen tonsils
- Skin rash
- Soft, swollen spleen
The best treatment for mono is to make sure your teenager or child drinks plenty of fluids and gets enough rest. Over-the-counter medicine can be used to help sore throats and fever. Most symptoms last just a few weeks. However, some may feel more tired than usual for a few months -- even after all their other symptoms are gone.
Dr. Nash adds, “Some people with mono have a swollen spleen that in extreme cases can rupture, requiring immediate medical attention. As a precaution, it is vital that absolutely no contact sports be played until the doctor says it is OK to start playing again.”
Suspect your child might have mono or just looking for a pediatrician? Dr. Nash is accepting new patients. Please call (314) 261-5250 to make an appointment.
3737 N. Kingshighway Blvd., Suite 209-210
St. Louis, MO 63115