What Are the Symptoms of Mononucleosis?

What Are the Symptoms of Mononucleosis?

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  • Most people usually develop the symptoms four to six weeks after exposure to the virus. Once you observe any of these signs of mononucleosis, it is best that you seek medical assistance immediately
  • The symptoms of infectious mononucleosis in both children and adults can vary largely in severity. Here are some of the symptoms that are usually observed when a patient has mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is easily misdiagnosed because it shares similar symptoms with many common conditions and diseases. Most people usually develop the symptoms four to six weeks after exposure to the virus. This long period between exposure and the development of symptoms usually causes patients to forget where or when they were exposed to the virus.1

The symptoms of infectious mononucleosis in both children and adults can vary largely in severity. Some patients barely feel sick, while others develop symptoms that are severe and debilitating. Here are some of the symptoms that are usually observed when a patient has mononucleosis:2

Fever. Fevers caused by mononucleosis usually rise to around 100 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This high fever usually occurs in the first week of mononucleosis onset, and is observed to be more severe at night.

Sore throat. Sore throat usually lasts anywhere from six to 10 days. This can be accompanied by the inflammation of the tonsils.

Swollen lymph glands. The inflammation of the anterior and posterior cervical (front and back of the neck) lymph nodes is usually observed, together with the armpit lymph nodes. Inflamed lymph glands usually last for about a month even after the other symptoms have subsided.

Extreme fatigue. The fatigue that accompanies mononucleosis often causes debilitating effects because of its severity. It affects women more than men, and can last to up to six months after the first symptoms of mononucleosis present themselves.3

Rashes. About 5 percent of patients with mononucleosis develop a body-wide splotchy rash. Mononucleosis rash actually looks similar to measles.4

Once you observe any of these signs of mononucleosis, it is best that you seek medical assistance immediately.

What Is Fulminant Infectious Mononucleosis (FIV)?

Because there are only a handful of documented fatalities linked to mononucleosis, it's normally set aside as a harmless condition. But even though the majority of the population do not develop a serious case of mononucleosis, it should be noted that it can also be fatal for some people with compromised immune systems.

The most serious form of mononucleosis is often called fulminant infectious mononucleosis (FIV). This form of infectious mononucleosis is often documented in Asia and South America, but has also been observed in a handful of cases in the U.S. or Europe.5

FIV is often observed in younger patients, but it can also affect adolescents and adults. The median age for the occurrence of this condition is 20 years. It is normally caused by the release of cytokines, which then leads to hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or the abnormal increase in the production of activated immune cells.6

Because of the rapid decline in the health of the individuals affected by FIV, early diagnosis is absolutely necessary in order to avoid death.7 Patients affected by this condition usually show the same symptoms as mononucleosis, but then worsen after a few hours or days. Some of the symptoms that accompany FIM include:8

High fever

Massive hepatosplenomegaly. This refers to the increased inflammation of both the spleen and liver. When left undiagnosed, this may eventually lead to hepatic dysfunction and liver failure.9

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. This refers to the over-activation of the immune function of the body, leading to tissue damage and, eventually, multiple organ damage.10

Pancytopenia. This is a condition where the amount of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are decreased. This usually causes either megaloblastic or aplastic anemia. Pallor is one of the most obvious indications of pancytopenia.11

Although rare, it should be noted that this severe form of mononucleosis exists and it can affect anyone. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to the treatment of this condition.

MORE ABOUT MONONUCLEOSIS

Introduction: Mononucleosis

What Is Mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis Symptoms

Mononucleosis Causes

Mononucleosis Treatment

Mononucleosis Prevention

Mononucleosis Diet

Mononucleosis FAQ


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