The virus responsible for infectious mononucleosis is called the Epstein-Barr virus. In most cases, this mono virus infects an individual without being aware of it. A high percentage of adults end up with a positive result for antibodies to the virus, thus indicating that they are infected and successfully dealt with the infection. On the other hand, the mono virus is capable of causing various infections that range from simple mononucleosis to meningitis that requires medical attention.
Infectious mononucleosis is one of the prevalent diseases triggered by the EBV or mono virus. This condition is oftentimes called as the “kissing disease” since it is spread via contact with the saliva of an infected individual. The symptoms at the start of infectious mononucleosis include generalized feeling of discomfort or malaise along with headache and low-grade fever.
As the infection progresses, the fever heighten while the tonsils and throat become inflamed and the lymph nodes in the neck become swollen. Take note that most of these symptoms vanish within a week or two. One of the symptoms of this condition is the extreme and debilitating tiredness that can persist for months after the other symptoms already vanished.
Nervous system infections
Even though most individuals are infected with the mono virus without being aware of it, some have manifestations of the infection that can be serious. Meningoencephalitis is a potentially life-threatening infection involving the tissue around the brain or meninges. The symptoms of meningoencephalitis might include stiff neck as well as changes in the cognition and level of consciousness that ranges from confusion to loss of consciousness.
The mono virus can also affect other parts of the nervous system. In case the optic nerve is involved, it is called as optic neuritis and can trigger abrupt changes in vision such as blurring or pain that can be experienced as a sharp, stabbing or dull ache.
Infections in other organs
The infections with mono virus is not only limited to an attack of infectious mononucleosis or even the serious potential infections of the nervous system. It is important to note that the virus is also capable of triggering infection in almost any organ in the body.
If the virus affects the lungs, the individual will develop pneumonia with symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. In case the heart is affected, the condition is also called myocarditis and might result to heart failure, fatigue and even difficulty in exercising. Once the individual starts to notice the presence of these types of symptoms, he/she must schedule an appointment with a doctor since further assessment and evaluation might be required.
If any of these conditions start to manifest, they would surely require proper assessment by a doctor so that proper treatment can be started. Regardless of the part of body infected by the mono virus, consulting a doctor is a must.