Healthy Living

Mononucleosis: Am I Contagious Throughout the Duration of My Condition?

Mononucleosis: Am I Contagious Throughout the Duration of My Condition?

Key Takeaways

  • Once one has the disease, it can lead to infection of another person.
  • Mononucleosis can sometimes recur in humans.
  • Sometimes a person carries the virus for a long period of time within the body without noticing any signs and symptoms of the disease.

Mononucleosis is a disease that is spread through the Epstein-Barr virus. Specific details about the virus is still unknown. This virus is known to exhibit fatigue in people, accompanied by an aching body, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. This disease is known to be spread through saliva and other body fluids hence the nickname "The Kissing Disease." It can also be spread through the sharing of toothbrushes, sharing of a straw, and eating with the same utensils where viruses may be attached to the utensils.

People who have this disease can easily spread the disease from the the immediate onset of the illness. Despite this, a person may not actually be aware of the virus' presence in the body. This happens since someone cannot see any signs and symptoms immediately, until a month or two later, when the person notices unusual fatigue, muscle aches, and daytime fever. This period before the disease is known as the incubation period of the disease. Sometimes a person carries the virus for a long time within the body, without noticing any signs and symptoms of the disease. This situation is very dangerous, since one can transfer the virus to many people without knowing anything about the condition.

Mononucleosis usually takes its time in showing the signs of its infection. Symptoms may emerge from two weeks to a month after infection, and usually, these symptoms start with fatigue. A proper diet is required at times like this, where a diet rich in protein is advisable. A person is also supposed to sleep enough to help the body fight the disease adequately. The medics have not ascertained the time it takes for the disease to stop re-infecting others. Some research indicates that it may take a year and a half for the disease to stop infecting others after one has been treated and recovered fully. After this period, the body is known to stop infecting other people and becomes inactive for the rest of the person's life.

Once one has the disease, even though it may have stopped affecting the person, it can lead to infection of another person. It is usually very difficult to prevent the spread of this disease among people. This is the reason people are always advised to wash their hands before consuming any meal. Sharing drinks and utensils is also discouraged since a person’s saliva could be easily spread in this manner, leading to the infection of another person.

This disease can at times recur in humans. This virus belongs to the herpes family, and they usually have a latent stage where the disease is very hard to eradicate, since its symptoms are subdued. This virus hides in blood cells and later manifests when one's immune system has weakened. Sometimes, a different herpes disease could occur, instead of mononucleosis. Someone who gets this disease at the later stage doesn’t necessarily show any signs and symptoms unless their immune system is impaired. This disease is usually easily spread in high-density population areas.