Just don’t kiss and tell


Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

As finals are drawing closer, staying healthy is important. One bad cold can knock you out and cause delays in studying. Even worse, the virus mononucleosis can keep you from your studies for as long as two months.

Nicknamed the kissing disease, mono spreads through saliva. This means you can contract mono from sharing drinks, utensils and, of course, kissing. Mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus, or EBV, and has an incubation period of four to six weeks.

During this time, you might not be showing symptoms, but you can spread the virus to others. EBV is an interesting virus due to the fact that many people get the virus but it remains dormant.

Occasionally, the virus will wake up and spread to others without showing symptoms. Once a person has the virus, it will remain in their bodies for the rest of their lives.

High school and college-aged people (15 to 24 years old) are most likely to have obvious symptoms of mono as compared to young children or older adults.

The most common symptoms are high fever, sore throat, excessive fatigue and body aches. Many of these coincide with illnesses such as strep throat or the flu. However, the main difference is that these symptoms don’t get better for a long period of time.

I had mono when I was a sophomore in high school. I was sleeping all the time. No matter how much I slept, I could never get enough energy to even get out of bed to shower or eat.

I’m sure that sounds like a lot of students during finals, but this kind of fatigue isn’t rivaled by anything else. You know when you have a bad cold and are so miserable that you can’t even sleep? With mono, you feel so miserable and all you can do is sleep.

The most important thing to do if you have mono is to get plenty of rest. It takes a long time to get back to normal and pushing yourself will make you worse. Limit physical activity while recovering. For athletes or gym buffs, wait until your doctor says it’s okay to get back to practice or exercise.

Also, make sure you are eating and drinking. Most people experience a lack of appetite, but it is important to keep eating protein and to stay hydrated.

If your symptoms haven’t gone away for a little over a week, it’s time to go see a doctor for a test. Because these symptoms match up with strep throat, getting a test done can rule out other illnesses such as strep throat, which can be treated with antibiotics.

About 75 out of 100 people who have mono have experienced swelling of the spleen. Getting hit in the upper left section of your abdomen could cause the swelled spleen to rupture.

To avoid this, do not take part in any contact sports or heavy lifting until the swelling goes down and a doctor gives you the okay. In some rare cases, the spleen can rupture on its own so if there is any sharp pain in the upper left side of your abdomen, you need to rush to the hospital.

Don’t swap spit with strangers for multiple reasons, but mainly so you aren’t get sick for your upcoming finals.