October 1982

'Kissing disease' strikes South again

   As the weather gets colder and students seem to be getting very tired and run down, it is important to know the following: mononucleosis [Mono] is alive, well and kicking, especially at Maine South.
   Many students, by October and November, have to meet first quarter deadlines and find themselves staying up until all hours studying. Not only does lack of sleep bring down a person's resistance, but colder weather brings resistance down too. Mono, or the 'kissing disease', as the disease has been nicknamed, has been found to be most prevalent in schools, colleges, campuses, and places where there is close contact of young people.
   The symptoms of mono sound like symptoms of the common cold or the flu at the outset of the sickness. Headaches and an overall "blah" feeling are the first symptoms, as is a temperature of possibly up to 103-104 degrees. After four or five days, swollen glands and a sore throat may develop. Sometimes a measle-like rash appears.
    To see if these symptoms are mono-caused, a person should get a blood test. The blood tests should be taken more than once because a negative result may show up at the beginning and change later on.
   In the most severe cases, the liver and spleen can get enlarged, tender and diseased. In 5 percent of all cases, jaundice or strep throat may occur, and on a very rare occasion, there can be complications with the heart, lungs and brain.
   The best cure for mononucleosis is plenty of liquids, bed rest and being sure not to overexert oneself. The healing process can take from three weeks to three months. Relapses can occur, especially if the mono-stricken patient overdoes it before he is entirely healed.
   As young people, Maine South students should be aware that many cases go unnoticed because the cases are not severe. But, someone exposed to a mild case of mono may get a worse case if his resistance is low. So remember: Mono is very common among teens. The next victim may be you, so keep up your resistance by eating well and getting enough sleep.