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The Enemy Microbes
Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus known as Epstein-Barr. The common name for this disease is glandular fever. Glandular fever’s global importance and relevance can be understood by outlining the biological, social, economic, and ecological issues relating to this disease. Biologically, this disease may cause serious pain and damage to the parts of the body. Spleen and eyes are some of the most affected parts of the body. Socially, this disease may limit one’s capacity to interact and socialise with others because it is contagious (Gitnick 2012). Economically, it drains the financial resources of the affected families because they have to get proper medication for their loved one. Ecologically, this disease may cause strains to the programs meant to promote environmental conservation, especially when the government is forced to step in and help in fighting the spread of the disease.
The War: Infection and Transmission of the Disease
The pathogen that causes Glandular fever is Epstein-Barr. According to Turgeon (2009), the most common way through which this pathogen is spread from one person to another is kissing. It passes from the host to the recipient through saliva. In rare cases, sneezing, coughing, and sharing of utensils such as spoon may also spread the disease (Yen 2010). In the past, the disease was also spread through blood transfusion. Once the pathogen gets into the body, through the mouth or nostril, it gets into the throat where it replicates itself within the epithelial cells. This results in irritation in this region, causing the disease. The immune response against the development of these cells causes enlarged lymphocytes.
When the Epstein-Barr virus enters the body, the system will recognise it as a foreign organism that should be eliminated. The body system fights this virus using adaptive immunity. The body makes an antigen-specific immune response immediately once the virus is detected within the body. Given that it is a virus-fighting, the pathogen using conventional medicines may sometimes be complex (Varadi 2004). The efficiency of the white blood cells may need to be boosted using gargling solutions, antibiotics in case one develops other infections or steroids. However, sometimes these boosters may fail to have any impact on the virus. This virus may evade the immune system for a long time because of its changing shape that makes it difficult to fight it. It is a relief that once a person has been infected, the body develops a defence system against future infections.
Some of the clinical manifestations of the disease include a sore throat that is painful when swallowing anything. The pain is caused by the tenderness of the cells in the throat (Taga & Tosato 2009). The glands around will be swollen as the immune system tries to fight the disease. Flu-like symptoms, malaise, and swollen eyes are other symptoms. In severe cases, ruptured spleen and severe anaemia may be witnessed.
A medical doctor may conduct a number of physical examinations to determine if one is suffering from Glandular fever. The tests include swelling of tonsils, rashes on the chest, redness of throat, fever, and enlarged spleen (Kaslow & LeDuc 2014). A blood test will also be necessary to identify the presence of Epstein Barr virus. Currently, there is no vaccine for this disease. The strategies that currently exist to control the disease at the community level is by avoiding instances where healthy people share utensils with infected persons. The United Nations, through the World Health Organisation, advises infected persons to avoid kissing or sharing body fluids with healthy people. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation have been working closely to find better strategies for managing and preventing this contagious disease.
List of References
Gitnick, G 2012, Modern Concepts of Acute and Chronic Hepatitis, Springer, Boston.
Kaslow, R & LeDuc, J 2014, Viral infections of humans: Epidemiology and control, Springer, New York.
Taga, K & Tosato, G 2009, Diagnosis of Atypical Cases of Infectious Mononucleosis, Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 83-88.
Turgeon, M 2009, Clinical hematology: Theory and procedures, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
Varadi, S 2004, Infectious Mononucleosis, The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 4876, pp. 1440-1441.
Yen, O 2010, Diagnosis of Infectious Mononucleosis, American Medical Journal, vol. 280, no. 6230, pp. 1538-1539.