Mononucleosis: duration, symptoms in adults, what to do?

Mononucleosis duration symptoms in adults what to do

Mononucleosis is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. His main symptom? A very big fatigue that does not pass. Other signs can also characterize it. Discovery with Dr. Nathalie Roda, general practitioner.

Mononucleosis is a infectious disease which most often affects adolescents and adults youth. It is sometimes called “kissing disease” (like her very easily transmitted through saliva). Symptoms include fever, sore throat and severe fatigue. The duration of contagion mononucleosis is very long. It’s what mononucleosis ? What are the symptoms ? What treatments ? Is she dangerous ?

Definition: what is mononucleosis?

It’s about a mild infectious disease caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). There mononucleosis only occurs once during the life of the individual. It’s an infection Without gravity in the vast majority of cases. “We think that 90-95% of adults have had mononucleosisvery often without their knowing it”, immediately announces Dr. Nathalie Roda, general practitioner and member of the National Union of Young General Practitioners (SNJMG). If it can reach everyone, regardless of age or gender, it nevertheless affects especially adolescents and young adults.

What are the symptoms of mononucleosis?

In its usual form, this disease results in a fever, a sore throat, an increase in the size of the cervical lymph nodes and above all, to tiredness. “However, none of these symptoms is systematic in case of mononucleosis“, nuance Nathalie Roda. However, be careful when practicing certain sports, because mononucleosis is classically responsible for a splenomegaly (be one increase in spleen size), which makes it necessary to avoid activities at risk of trauma and rupture of the spleen.

Baby symptoms. “In babies, mononucleosis is most often non-symptomatic, but it can also be responsible for the same symptoms as in adults, or other symptoms such as : ear infection, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, symptoms of respiratory infection“, continues Dr. Nathalie Roda.

Infographic: symptoms of mononucleosis © 123rf/JournaldesFemmes

How do you get mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis is transmitted through saliva, which earned it the name “kissing disease“. Indirectly, “it can also be transmitted by sharing cutlery or glass“, specifies Dr. Nathalie Roda, who adds: “the duration of the incubation period is about 3 to 7 weeks.

The period of contagion can last up to 6 months after recovery.

How long are you contagious when you have mononucleosis?

Infectious mononucleosis is contagious. The period of contagion is long and can last up to 6 months after recovery, and possibly intermittently for years.

The diagnosis of mononucleosis is primarily based on theobservation of physical signs. “When the disease is evoked in front of a set of symptoms, it can then be confirmed by the demonstration of anti-EBV antibodies thanks to a blood test“, explains Nathalie Roda.

What are the treatments for mononucleosis?

There is no no specific treatment to fight against this disease, which heals on its own after about four weeks. On the other hand, it is possible to reduce the symptoms inherent in it while waiting for the body’s immune defenses to do their job. In case of pain and fever, it is possible to take paracetamol. In case of intense fatigue, a single watchword: Rest.

Can mononucleosis be prevented?

There is no no way to prevent infectious mononucleosis, but contagion can be avoided avoiding kissing an affected person or to use their cutlery or glass.

Is mononucleosis dangerous?

THE complications are rare, but can affect several organs: the heart (myocarditis), the brain (encephalitis, meningitis), the lungs (pneumonia), the kidneys (nephritis) and the liver (viral hepatitis). There rupture of the spleen in the acute phase of infection is another known complication, but fortunately extremely rare. Finally, if amoxicillin is taken wrongly, it is classic to see the appearance of a rash.

Thank you to Dr Nathalie Roda, general practitioner and member of the National Union of Young General Practitioners (SNJMG).