Health

A Mono Briefing

Related Links:

  • Familydoctor.org
    Site that discusses the basics concerning mono.
  • Kids Health
    Discusses the signs and symptoms of mononucleosis as it pertains to children.
  • IVillage
    Informative Web page that offers general information and articles about the disease.

Other Stories in Health:

By Eric Klein
Health Editor


College, for several reasons, is arguably the most stressful period in a young adult’s life. Exams, parties, loneliness, homesickness, sleep deprivation and poor diet are all causes for great concern. Unfortunately, any of the rational motives for anxiety listed above can lead to an inopportune sickness. The fact is, nobody has the time or energy to deal with illness, especially during the hustle and bustle of college. We all want to be a part of the action. The last thing we want is to succumb to what is affectionately referred to as, “the kissing disease.”

“Infectious mononucleosis, also called “the kissing disease,” is a problem that affects two out of every 1,000 students, and is most common in people 15 to 30 years of age. "

Infectious mononucleosis, also called “the kissing disease,” is a problem that affects two out of every 1,000 students, and is most common in people 15 to 30 years of age. It is an acute infection of the lymphatic system caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Typical signs of mono include fever, fatigue, tonsillitis, sore throat, bleeding gums, headaches, loss of appetite, puffy eyelids and swollen glands in your neck. However, a few cases are largely asymptomatic.

Mono is generally passed from one person to another through kissing, coughing and sneezing. In addition, mono can be contracted from sharing eating and drinking utensils with people who are infected. The virus is found in mucus and saliva. The symptoms of mono usually develop between one and two months after exposure. On the whole, roommates and housemates are at only a slightly increased risk for contracting the disease.

“Enlargement of the liver and spleen may occur with mono, so alcohol, as in beer, wine and liquor, must be avoided."

While mono cannot be cured, it will go away on its own, as symptoms generally last approximately four weeks. However, it is crucial to rest and drink plenty of fluids. But, NO ALCOHOL! Enlargement of the liver and spleen may occur with mono, so alcohol, as in beer, wine and liquor, must be avoided. In addition, strenuous exercise should be completely avoided until permission is given by a clinician. Damage to the spleen may be irreparable and can result in emergency, life-saving surgery.

While there is no sure-fire way to prevent mono, maintaining optimum health through balanced diet, exercise, and rest are ways to avoid the disease. Moreover, using hygienic measures such as hand washing, are helpful in preventing the spread of the virus.

Unlike kisses, mono is not something that should be coveted. On most college campuses, mono is extremely prevalent due to the closed environment. Yet, the good news is once mono has been contracted, it generally will not reoccur.

Eric Klein is a senior psychology major here at The College of New Jersey. He is also the health section editor for unbound. In his spare time, he has been writing essays and filling out applications for graduate doctoral programs in clinical psychology.

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