As the holiday parties ensue and good cheer begins to spread, at some point you will likely find yourself under the mistletoe. That's all "fun and games" unless you wind up with "the kissing disease", better known as infectious mononucleosis.
- Oftentimes asymptomatic.
- Most adults have already been exposed in their teens or earlier.
- Fatigue and malaise frequently precede sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph glands.
- Other symptoms: nausea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain from an enlarged liver and/or spleen
- Sore throat and enlarged tonsils often severe and requiring steroids. Less frequently, hospitalization and airway protection may be needed.
- Acute symptoms may resolve quickly, but fatigue will oftentimes persist for months
- Frequently mis-treated as Strep Throat with antibiotics
- No cure. Self-limiting.
- Supportive, symptomatic treatment and rest indicated.
- May require avoidance of contact sports if spleen / liver enlarged to avoid life threatening risk of rupture
- Almost never fatal, but can be miserable and can be associated with chronic fatigue.
If you are sick, stay at home, avoid the mistletoe altogether, or politely avoid the kiss. Otherwise, brush your teeth, use mouthwash, don't smoke, steer clear of the "deep throat", french kiss, or kissing anyone who looks sick.
For more complete information on Infectious Mononucleosis follow the link
Happy Healthy Holidays!