Our mission is to help students achieve and maintain wellness. One way we can accomplish our mission is to inform the UTM community about illnesses that are affecting students.
During the past two weeks, we have diagnosed several students with MONONUCLEOSIS (MONO).
Mononucleosis is a viral infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but can also be caused by other organisms.
Mono is often spread by saliva and close contact. It is known as "the kissing disease”.
What are the symptoms of mono?
How do you treat mono?
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling – begins slowly
- Sore throat – slowly gets worse
- Swollen tonsils with a whitish-yellow covering
- Swollen and painful lymph nodes, especially in the neck and armpit
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches or stiffness
- Swollen spleen
- Fatigue - can linger for 2 to 3 months
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms. Antibiotics are ineffective in the treatment of mono because mono is a viral illness and antibiotics treat bacterial illnesses.
To relieve typical symptoms:
In order to prevent your spleen from rupturing, you should also avoid contact sports until your health care provider has released you.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Gargle with warm salt water to ease a sore throat.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain and fever.
Calling your health care provider
The initial symptoms of mono feel very much like a typical viral illness. It is not necessary to contact a health care provider unless symptoms last longer than 10 days or you develop the following:
Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you develop:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Persistent high fevers (more than 101.5°F)
- Severe headache
- Severe sore throat or swollen tonsils
- Weakness in the arm or legs
- Yellow discoloration of your eyes or skin
- Sharp, sudden, severe abdominal pain
- Significant difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Stiff neck or severe weakness
How can I prevent mono?
Persons with mononucleosis may be contagious while they have symptoms and for up to a few months afterwards. How long someone with the disease is contagious varies. The virus can live for several hours outside the body. Avoid kissing or sharing utensils if you or someone close to you has mono.
Information obtained from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001617/
Many students present to the clinic with symptoms of the COMMON COLD.
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper-respiratory tract including the nose, throat and sinuses. It can also affect the ears and lungs.
You may have a cold if you:
- Have a runny nose (the discharge may be watery at first, becoming thick and yellow)
- Are coughing and sneezing
- Have a mild headache, fatigue, and/or watering eyes
- Have a low grade fever
- Have lost your voice
How do you get colds?
- At least 100 viruses cause colds
- Virus particles spread through the air or from person-to-person contact
How can I prevent colds?
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid crowded places
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
How do you treat colds?
- Self care and time!
- There is no cure for the common cold, only remedies for symptoms
- Recovery usually occurs within 7-14 days
- Sometimes a secondary bacterial infection can result—you need to make an appointment with your health care provider
SORE THROAT is another common complaint currently.
A number of illnesses can cause a sore throat including the common cold. Sore throats can also be caused from an infection in the tonsils or pharynx.
You may have an infection in your tonsils (tonsillitis) or pharynx (pharyngitis) if you:
- Have throat pain
- Are having difficulty swallowing
- Have a headache or earache
- Have chills and fever
- Have swollen lymph glands
- Have a cough
How do you get tonsillitis/pharyngitis?
- Can be caused by a virus
- Can be caused from bacteria (usually streptococcal)
What is the expected outcome?
- Symptoms usually begin to improve in 2-3 days
- For severe and frequent infections, removal of the tonsils may be recommended
How do you treat tonsillitis/pharyngitis?
- Diagnostic tests may be performed to determine if the cause is bacterial
- Treatment is with antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection
- Cool-mist humidifiers can relieve irritation and cough
- Soothing liquids or gargles can also be used as a comfort measure