Mononucleosis, commonly referred to as “mono,” is a common illness that can leave those infected feeling drained and weak for weeks or months. The disease goes away on its own, but lots of rest and good self-care is needed in order for those affected to feel restored.
According to WEBMD, mononucleosis is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is most often seen in teens and young adults. Those who have contracted the virus may not know it until four to six weeks after it has infiltrated their bodies. Students who have the disease can miss up to a month of classes, or an entire semester.
SUNY Oswego’s website, Student Health 101 urges students to protect themselves. Students can protect themselves best with frequent hand washing, not sharing drinking glasses and staying away from others who are sick.
SUNY Oswego student, Matthew Bishop, knows first hand how mononucleosis can take a toll on students’ lives.
“I slept a lot and usually had a stomach ache. I had a little bit of a sore throat,” said Bishop.
One of the biggest issues students face when they are suffering from mononucleosis is an enlarged spleen, which can cause severe abdominal discomfort. According to an ABC News article, “Don’t Kiss and Swell: Managing Mono,” this disease affects one of every 200 college students each year.
“For all of the people who get it, just sleep a lot and stay away from alcohol. Just rest up, don’t exert yourself. It can be very serious,” added Bishop.
If infected, it is encouraged to avoid exposing others to saliva or mucus until the symptoms of the disease are gone. Mononucleosis is not a rare disease, as 95 percent of people will get it during their lifetime. By the age of five, about 50 percent of children in the United States have already been infected with the disease.
If students at SUNY Oswego feel that they are with this disease, they should visit the Mary Walker Health Center on campus for treatment.