Infectious mononucleosis (mono) is a contagious disease that is most commonly found in young adults and teens. Yearly, 11 to 48 cases of mono occur in around 1,000 people. Mono is most often spread by contact with infected saliva, but can also be spread via blood or other bodily fluids. It is rather difficult to keep it from spreading since even people with zero symptoms can carry the virus in their spit and infect others. Once your teen gets exposed to the infection, the virus will remain in the body for the rest of his or her life. There is a chance that in the future the virus can become active again, but most probably won’t cause any symptoms.
Signs of Mononucleosis in Teenagers
As mentioned earlier, this infection is more widespread in teens and young adults. Its contagiousness makes it more probable to spread easily among adolescents since they are normally in direct contact with friends.
Initially, the infection goes unnoticed because it starts off with mild symptoms such as fever and throat pain. These symptoms are common to a flu or mild cold. Hence, teens infected with the mono may not even realize it at first.
You need to keep in mind that a person can carry Epstein-Barr virus and still be asymptomatic. Nevertheless, this individual can infect your child with saliva. Symptoms of mono can take between 4 to 6 weeks to appear and can last for months. They normally do not last more than 4 months.
- Swollen lymph glands present in the groin, armpits, and in the neck
- Long periods of muscle aches and exhaustion
- Sore throat due to enlarged tonsils.
- Mid liver damage that can result in temporary yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Enlarged spleen
- Malaise – a general unwell feeling, as if something is amiss health-wise.
What Happens When Your Teen is Diagnosed with Mono?
Normally, mono is not a fatal infection. The symptoms go away on their own, without any medical intervention. Plus, the symptoms can differ from one person to another. For example, the sore throat may be quite severe in the primary 3 to 5 days and then slowly subside. During this time, your teenage child might have the mono-associated fever for approximately two weeks. The enlarged lymph nodes may last somewhere around 4 weeks, and it might take several weeks for your child’s energy levels to return to normal.
It is crucial that your child get plenty of rest as that will help give their body a solid chance to heal itself naturally. If your kid keeps exerting himself, the symptoms may worsen.
Spleen inflammation induced by mono can complicate things. It could result in spleen enlargement and make it more vulnerable to physical injury. The complications are unlikely with mono as the infection heals by itself with sufficient hydration and rest.