Mononucleosis is a term for a biological anomaly caused by an increasing number of monocytes, a variety of white blood cells. This anomaly is mainly encountered in infectious mononucleosis
, a benign infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which belongs to the herpes family. This virus affects the lymph nodes, where it can be hidden and remain in a latent state. Mononucleosis is spread through saliva, which is why it earned the name "the kissing disease." It affects people of all ages, but most frequently children or young adults. It appears only once in the life of the individual, during which time the body learns to fight it. The virus then remains latent until the end of the patient's life.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are:
- severe fatigue;
- the appearance of glands in the neck;
- a sore throat, occasionally with a whitish aspect;
- a rash on the palate;
- an increase in the size of the spleen.
The diagnosis of mononucleosis is based on the observation of physical signs. In case of doubt, blood tests will be made. They will highlight an increased number of lymphocytes and monocytes in the blood, which is quite characteristic. If necessary, a serological test will complete the blood test and determine the presence of specific antibodies.
To treat mononucleosis, it is necessary to rest a lot. It may take several weeks to return to a normal state. Painkillers and corticosteroids may be prescribed in case of complications. It is also strongly recommended to drink plenty of water.
There is no way to prevent infectious mononucleosis, but you can avoid contagion. Do not kiss someone who is infected and avoid using common kitchen utensils. Proper hand hygiene
is a must.