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Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is a disease brought on by infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (known as EBV). This itself is one form of herpesvirus. It is one of the medical conditions in which elevated liver enzymes may show up.

Symptoms

There are some symptoms which are relatively common in cases of mononucleosis. One of these is having a sore throat. Inflammation of the pharynx can also occur. A sense of being unwell, generally, can show up. The person may feel lethargic. Weight loss is another possibility. Lymph nodes may become swollen. The person may also go through splenomegaly, in which the spleen is enlarged. Hepatitis is also a possible symptom of mononucleosis.

Medical causes

As previously mentioned, mononucleosis is brought on due to an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus. There is a similar (yet different) medical condition, though, that can be brought on by infection with a different thing -- cytomegalovirus. Transmission of EBV occurs through saliva. For this reason, mononucleosis is sometimes referred to as kissing disease. The time during the infection in which the person is most contagious is thought to be during the six weeks after symptoms initially appear. However, it may still be possible for the infected person to spread the virus after this period of time.



Diagnosis

Someone with the proper qualification in medicine (such as a physician) is the one to make a diagnosis of a case of mononucleosis. The method of detection which is used most frequently involves checking the level of lymphocytes along with those that are atypical (in particular, having nuclei that are bigger than normal and irregular). This diagnostic method is typically used when the person is displaying particular symptoms characteristic of the infection. If the lymphocyte test shows a suspected infection, then a particular blood test may be used for confirmation. Some other conditions which show similar medical symptoms may be ruled out in certain cases -- particular testing methods may be used to check whether or not the patient is going through one of those.

Treatment

After diagnosis is given, a doctor will prescribe a certain treatment option (or options) for the patient. In most cases, mononucleosis is self-limiting -- that is, the infection runs its course and does not need treatment that cures it. However, certain methods may be useful in relieving symptoms and generally assisting the patient. For instance, medication to reduce pain and fever that are being experienced may be helpful. Rest is suggested when the infection is in its acute stage, but some level of activity may be returned to afterward. Despite this, more intense activity as well as things like contact sports are to be avoided for a period of time afterward, since they may lead to an increased risk of a ruptured spleen.

Read further about medical causes of elevated liver enzymes, or go straight to the home page to read about other aspects of the condition, including particular enzymes.

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