Dear Ask The Doctor: My 17 year old daughter has just came down with mono and her boyfriend from out of town was here for a visit the day before she was diagnosed we have a trip booked to Mexico in one month, he is joining us there how likely is it that he will get sick with mono while we are there. Would you recComend we canel the trip.
Dear Gena: Infectious mononucleosis (IM) is caused by Epstein-Barr virus and is characterized by a triad of fever, tonsillar pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. The infection is spread through kissing or sharing of eating utensils or drinking glasses with a person who is sick with mono. There is a large prevalace of infection in the age groups of 15 to 24 years.
The symptoms of IM include sore throat, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Some may also present with rash and enlargement of the spleen. The enlargement of spleen occurs in 50-60 percent of individuals with the disease and it is recommend that they avoid strenuous activity or sport that involves contact until the enlargement has subsided.
There is no specific treatment for mono and the symptoms should subside on its own within 1-2 weeks through symptoms of fatigue may persist for some weeks. The mainstay of treatment is NSAIDS and acetaminophen for the treatment of fever, throat discomfort, and malaise. Maintaining adequate hydration is also very important. Though the use of antiviral drugs like acyclovir may not cure the disease, it will help to suppress the viral shedding in the saliva and help reduce the transmission of the disease.
It is difficult to tell wheter your daughter's boyfirend will get IM, but if he avoides kissing and/or sharing eating utensils, the chances are less likely (most probably he is already immune to it). I would not recommend you to cancel the trip to Mexico as of yet, your daugher should recover from mono within 2-4 weeks.