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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What is the treatment for infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis and enlarged spleen?

Hi -- I'm 68 years old and have infectious mononucleosis with hepatitis. How is it possible to get this at my age? I read that it's spread by saliva, but all my life I've avoided sharing food, utensils, eating off the same plate, etc. because my mother impressed on me as a child the dangers of germs from other people's mouths. The only kissing I do is with my husband of 40 years, and he's healthy. Unfortunately, I was originally misdiagnosed with pneumonia and spent 6 days in the hospital before they confirmed a dianosis of mono. They too found it hard to believe that someone of my age has it, but the tests proved it. Am I correct in believing that the hepatitis will disappear once the mono does? My spleen is enlarged, so I'm being careful not to get hurt. I'm getting lots of rest and feeling much better now, but was terribly sick for a while (fever over 104, awful chills, vomitting, dehydrated, etc.). Will I fully recover from this at my age? And what age is/was the oldest person to be diagnosed with mono? Thank you.
Mon, 6 Jan 2014
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi, thank you for asking healthcare magic.
I have gone through your query and understood your concerns.
It is true that this disease attack mainly adolescents and young adult but it may occur from childhood to old age. Adults that were not infected by a virus called Epstein-Barr during childhood or adolescence are still susceptible to infection. After an infection, the virus remains dormant in certain cells of the throat and can be excreted in saliva of a healthy person. Your husband might have had the infection when he was young. Treatment is mainly symptomatic and this infection is rarely fatal. The liver and spleen will surely go back to normal after the infection has been cleared off. Concerning the oldest person who has ever had this, I have not come across patients or cases of your age but some studies have reported occurrence in patients of up to 42 years.

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