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Epstein-Barr virus / mononucleosis

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My co-worker's boyfriend has been in the hospital for a week with general fatigue, aching eyes, a sore throat and nausea. Since he was in Syria a month ago they first suspected malaria but now seem to have found a diagnosis: Pfeiffersches Drüsenfieber, aka mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). I have read up on it, learning among others that it establishes a lifelong dormant infection in some cells of the body's immune system.

Has anyone here had a severe case of mononucleosis, and has anyone experienced lasting effects after the illness itself had been overcome? I want to give my co-worker some comfort, she's been in a bad way ever since the boyfriend fell ill. Thanks.

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I suffered many years ago from Mono, and that damned EpsteinBarr comes back about every 2-3 years and knocks me on my ass. Last time was last Feb, I was really really sick, and all I did was sleep. Its nasty, and there is really nothing to to but wait it out.

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I had it about 5 years ago for about 6 weeks. I was hospitalised for 2 of them and they had to do an emergency tonsillectomy(sp?) as they were worried they may swell and block my airway.

 

That was thoroughly the worst health experience of my life. Despite my immune system taking about 3 years to get back up to its full effect, I have not actually had any re-occurrances of it. I was under the belief that it just lays dormant for the rest of your life.

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I had some tests done about 2 years ago (around my 40th birthday) for no reason other than I wanted to make sure everything was/is in order. To my surprise, I tested positive for Epstein-Barr. The doctor said that I probably had mono at some point in my life whether I knew it or not. How would I not know that? I know very little about the disease or symptoms and figured that if I'm feeling fine, why worry?

 

I don't know what to tell your friend since I know very little about the disease.

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why would you go to hospital? When I had it, I just stayed in bed. It doesn't kill you and as long as there is someone else around to make sure you don't starve, its just a case of waiting it out. In all I spenmt about two weeks in bed and then about another two months working for only a couple of hours a day. Then I was right as rain. I was a student at the time though.

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mononucleosis has an interesting epidemiology: if you have it as a child you experience just a mild cold that lasts only a short while but if you have it as an adult it creates massive exhaustion and lasts for weeks or months. Generally in the UK, the poorrer you are and the larger your family (and thius living in close proximity to a large number of people) the more likely you are to have it in infancy or childhood without any problems, whereas posh kids with a bedroom of their own and small families do not catch mono until they leave home and start snogging - and then everything goes bellyup.

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It can be quite serious, depending on how bad you have it and what you do for a living. My sister was also hospitalised at first as she had a very physical job and they wanted to make sure her spleen was okay. She came out fine.

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He's in the hospital because they didn't know what was wrong with him and had to run all sorts of tests, ending up with lumbal punction yesterday (yes, on Sunday!) evening. Now that they are fairly sure of the diagnosis he will be sent home with medication.

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from what I understand, there is not medication for Epstien-Barr, you need rest, and let the body recover. Twice in my life since I had mono in '87 I have tested high for Epstein Barr, now, everyone who had mono will test +ve, but there is a normal range. Although you cannot get mono again, the EBarr can come back with very similar symptoms.

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Just for any of the Brits confused at what 'mono' is - we call it Glandular Fever in the UK.

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It knocks the snot out of your immune system - I got it last fall and suffered through it, not knowing what was wrong. I'd work, fall into bed on Friday and stay there until Monday morning, and then some. It went on for a couple of months. I found out what the trouble had been a few months later when I had some blood tests for a chest infection. The thing is, after I got some energy back I would catch every germ out there, x10. It took a long time to get the white blood cell count back up. So the best thing I can advise is to have the doc monitor his blood and take supplements (under supervision) to build up the immune system. It takes time to get over but it's not the end of the world. It's mostly frustrating.

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It knocks the snot out of your immune system

3 years for mine to get back to full strength!

 

 

It took a long time to get the white blood cell count back up. So the best thing I can advise is to have the doc monitor his blood and take supplements (under supervision) to build up the immune system.

My doc would not let me go back to work cos my RED blood count was too low after the experience. It was after that that I forcefully aquired my taste for Guinness :D

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