Symptoms of the Kissing Disease
Symptoms of this disease mimic the cold or flu. Nevertheless when all occur at once it is a strong indication of the presence of mononucleosis. These symptoms include:
• Enlarged lymph nodes usually in the neck.
• High fever.
• Almost constant fatigue.
• Decrease in appetite.
• Aching or stiff muscles.
• A red rash.
• A sore throat.
While not as common, additional symptom include headache, chest pain, hives, coughing, and irregular or rapid heartbeat, jaundice, light sensitivity, breathlessness and a swollen spleen. There are even rarer symptoms and these decrease in the level of blood platelets, rupture of the spleen, pericarditis, pneumonitis and obstruction of the airway.
Mononucleosis usually goes away in 2-4 weeks. At least 95% of patients recover completely without any residual health issues. If the spleen ruptures it will do so during the second or third week when patients begin to improve and increase their activity level. Obstruction of the airway occurs rarely and when it does, it happens in younger children. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia occurs in only 1-3% of infected individuals. It is treated with corticosteroids. Thrombocytopenia is seen in up to 50% of individuals with mono.
However, it is not dangerous and usually clears up itself. Hepatitis can occur in up to 80-90% of infected individuals but is quite mild and heals itself. Some neurologic conditions that can manifest themselves include Bell's palsy, meningitis, tranverse myelitis, Guillain-Barre syndrom and cranial nerve palsies. These are treated with corticosteroids.