Infectious mononucleosis has so many names – the kissing disease, glandular fever, or simply mono. This viral infection got the name kissing disease because although there are many ways to transfer the disease, the typical spread of the virus happens during a kissing session. What’s different about this infection is that even after you have recovered from mononucleosis per se, the after-effects of the disease takes longer to subside. Here is some information about mononucleosis, and find out about the long term effects of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Facts about mononucleosis
Before we know the long term effects of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome, we must know a thing or two about the disease itself. Here is some key information about the viral infection.
Mononucleosis is mostly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Although mononucleosis can be caused by different types of viruses, studies showed that the EBV is often the culprit for the disease. It accounts for more than 50% for all mononucleosis infection.
You can get the kissing disease even without kissing anyone.
Although mononucleosis got that name, the virus itself is transmitted through saliva. So if you are in contact with some by sharing utensils, drinking in the same cup, exposed to sneezing and coughing, there is a large chance of you getting exposed to the virus. Moreover, there are other types of mononucleosis infection that spread via other bodily fluids like blood and sweat.
The mono symptoms are like other any infection.
If you have contracted the virus, expect the common symptoms that people experience while combating a viral disease:
- Poor appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes (neck, armpit, and groin areas)
- Sore throat
- Weakness and fatigue
- Left-sided abdominal pain (may be a sign of enlarged spleen)
You do not need antibiotics to fight mononucleosis
Because mono is a viral infection, medications to fight bacteria or other germs in the body just won’t work. Instead, the disease is self-limiting, which means that it will go away on its own. You can make your condition a bit more manageable by addressing your symptoms instead. For instance, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate headaches and body pains. Taking cold and flu medications to manage body fatigue, fever, and sore throat may also come in handy. You can also increase your water intake to avoid dehydration and to ease your sore throat. With these simple actions, you can make yourself a bit more comfortable while fighting the mono infection.
Symptoms of mononucleosis infection differ in duration
Once you get in contact with the mono virus, it is possible that you won’t experience any symptoms until after four to six weeks. Once the symptoms start, most of them may last for a few days, while others may persist for weeks. The flu-like symptoms like fever and sore throat may last for a few days to two weeks. However, even after the infection subsides, most patients still complain of fatigue even after reaching six weeks post-infection. In a study among adults after infectious mononucleosis, a result of 9% to 12% may have symptomatic fatigue even after 6 months after the virus. This is the reason why most people associate the long term effects of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome.
The long term effects of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome
What makes mononucleosis infection different from other viral infections is the fact that even after the virus subsides, the patients still feel lingering post-viral symptoms. These symptoms include weakness and fatigue. Typically, a viral infection may last for one to two weeks, after which the patient return s back to their usual perky selves. But with the mono infection, patients stay almost bedridden and weak even after the viral infection subsides. Fatigue and body weakness linger for more extended periods, even lasting for months. This scenario is the reason why people ask about the term effects of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome.
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. CFS is also called systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). The body weakness and pain a person could feel during this condition is not improved by rest and may become worse after movement or exercise. These scenarios make doctors doubt that this condition even existed, and thought that it is only psychological. But more and more physicians are not pinpointing that patients who have CFS have, once or twice, been infected by a viral infection (like mononucleosis) or stress.
The link between and the long term effect of mononucleosis in chronic fatigue syndrome
Because doctors find it hard to determine how long mono symptoms stay in a patient, as well as how to determine if one has CFS caused by the kissing disease, they have devised a scale to know if a mono infection is severe or not. This way, they can tell if the severe types are the ones that have the potential of developing CFS post-virus. The criteria they are looking at are the following:
- The patient is unable to leave home because of the symptoms
- The patient experiences difficulty breathing
- The patient has digestive problems like nausea and vomiting
Once a patient satisfies these measures, their condition is considered severe, and they may be the potential candidates who may experience CFS after the infection subsides. The main problem is that CFS is difficult to track with regard to its severity, duration, and treatment. CFS causes extreme fatigue, sleep problems, thinking and memory issues, dizziness and pain. How long a person endures these symptoms is still undetermined, so we suggest that constant follow-up visits with your doctor be done to make sure that no more complications other than CFS will arise after your mono infection.