Mononucleosis, also known as mono, is one of the viral infections that lead to fever, throat problems such as sore throat, and swelling in the lymph glands, usually in the neck. It’s also called ‘glandular fever’. Mononucleosis usually occurs among young adults between the ages of 15 to 25. However the infection can take place at any age. The infection is due to a virus called Epstein Barr Virus or EBV also known as Human herpes virus type 4 that can be transmitted from one person to another through exchange of fluids such as saliva through kissing or sharing food.
The rash mostly goes away in a week to almost 10 days, but the swollen spleen and lymph glands heal in almost a month. The symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness or fever can also take considerable time.
Mononucleosis rash is usually contracted by fluid exchange such as saliva or close physical contact. It is also known as “the kissing disease.” It is often due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and in some cases due to cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Symptoms of Mononucleosis
- Excessive fatigue and headache
- Swelling in the neck and severe Sore throat
- High Fever and muscle aches.
- Swelling of lymph node that is usually painful.
- Rashes on the body that look like measles skin rash with tiny red spots, bruise like signs in the mouth especially on the palate.
- Pain and Swelling in the abdomen and an enlarged spleen.
- Difficulty in breathing, Dizziness and a feeling of uneasiness.
- Lack of appetite
- Severe headache, Cough, tonsils and pain in the chest
- Stiffness in the neck, headaches, bleeding in the nose and difficulty in breathing.
- Weakness in the arms and legs.
Swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, both at the front as well as the back and an enlarged spleen are determinants of the rash. Blood tests are usually performed including White blood cell count. Tests such as Monospot test and Antibody titer are also done to diagnose. One must seek medical help if the mentioned symptoms remain for more than a week. Swollen lymph nodes might be a sign of some other severe problem. Also the rash and headache, could be a symptom of meningitis or a low platelet count.
The main aim of the treatment is to reduce and relieve the symptoms. Many times Steroid medicines are also given if the symptoms are alarming. However antiviral drugs, like acyclovir, do not make much difference. But to reduce the typical symptoms one must drink a lot of water. Gargles with some salt and Luke warm water are the most convenient way to treat a sore throat. It is however essential also to have plenty of rest. In case of fever and pain one can take an ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Also if the spleen is swollen then one must avoid any rigorous physical activity otherwise it will create the chances of spleen rupture. If there is a skin rash then it might be some other allergy also or allergy to certain medication or food items. Sometimes the doctor may prescribe antibiotics if there exists any other bacterial infection than what comes along with mononucleosis that can also cause a secondary infection. In such cases antibiotics such as amoxicillin and ampicillin must be avoided.
- Healing gels such as aloevera gel to get rid of the redness and itching.
- Exposure to sunlight might also be useful in healing. But one must check the reaction by sitting in the sun for a few minutes as there can be adverse symptoms too.
- Nutrients such as vitamin C, A, zinc and omega 3 fats can help decrease the inflammation as well as the uneasiness. Foods such as lemon, ginger, pineapple and turmeric are excellent anti-inflammatory sources.
- Detoxing the liver with a lot of lemon juice in warm water, plenty of water and other essential fluids are also helpful.
However it is always better to go for prevention. As this disease is contagious it is better to avoid any kind of physical contact with the person who is affected. It is also advisable to avoid sharing things with the patient.
Possible complications can range from being Anemic to having jaundice or Hepatitis. One can also have jaundice and hepatitis both at the same time especially among the ones in their late 30s or 40s. There can also be disorders of the Nervous system such as seizures, Bell’s palsy, the Guillain-Barré syndrome, ataxia, meningitis, and a general damage to the nerves controlling muscle movements of the face. Rupture of the spleen is a common complication so one must avoid putting pressure on it. Other complications include rashes on the skin and weakening of the immune system.
Mononucleosis Rash pictures