What is the Kissing Disease?

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s a good time to discuss infectious mononucleosis, often called “mono” or “the kissing disease.”

young couple about to kiss - kissing disease mono

This contagious disease is usually caused by the Epstein-barr virus. It is spread through saliva which means you can get it through kissing, hence the nickname. You can also be exposed to the virus through a cough or sneeze, or by sharing drinks, food, or personal items with someone who has mono.

Infectious mononucleosis is most prevalent in teens, young adults, and college students. Most older adults have been exposed to the Epstein-barr virus at some point in their life and have built up the necessary antibodies to be immune.

Symptoms of mono develop slowly, appearing about 4 to 8 weeks after you’re infected. Mono is difficult to differentiate from other common viruses such as the flu.

Symptoms include:

  • extreme fatigue
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • head and body aches
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • swollen liver or spleen or both
  • rash

If you or your child are experiencing any of the above symptoms for longer than a week, head into our clinic. Symptoms may not occur all at the same time.

Our medical team will perform a physical exam, review your symptoms, and look for signs such as swollen lymph nodes, tonsils, liver or spleen. A provider can typically diagnose infectious mononucleosis based on symptoms, but if additional confirmation is needed, he or she may request blood tests, such as antibody tests or white blood cell count.

If your symptoms are indeed due to Mono, we can outline an appropriate treatment plan to help you feel better sooner. Most cases of mono are mild and will resolve on their own within 1-2 months. Drinking fluids to stay hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever can help ease symptoms.

Walk into our clinic today for fast, affordable mono treatment and advice.

When To Worry About Fever in Adults

fevers in adults

A fever is a temporary rise in body temperature, and a sign that your body is battling an illness or infection. There is generally no cause for concern, but certain situations warrant a trip to the doctor– or even the emergency room. Learn when it’s time to seek treatment.

Normal body temperature ranges from 97°F to 99°F. If your core body temperature rises above this, you may have a fever. Additional signs and symptoms include sweating, chills, shivering, headache, and muscle aches. Loss of appetite, irritability, dehydration and general weakness are also common.

When and Where To Seek Treatment

Most fevers go away on their own within a few hours to days as your body beats the infection. If your fever lasts longer than 3 days, it’s important to see a doctor. A recurrent fever, however slight, may be a sign of a more serious condition. An urgent care center is a quick, convenient place to seek treatment for mild fevers.

Head into our clinic if your fever…

  • Is higher than 102°F
  • Lasts more than 3 days
  • Continues to worsen and will not break
  • Is accompanied by:
    • Discomfort
    • Ear pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Sore throat

Our friendly medical team will perform a physical exam, and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. The provider may order blood tests or a chest X-ray, as needed, to determine the cause of your fever. If your fever is due to a bacterial infection, we can prescribe antibiotics for treatment. Walk in today for fast, affordable care. No appointment necessary.

When to Seek Emergency Care

Head to the ER or call an ambulance for fevers with the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Skin rash
  • Unusual sensitivity to bright light
  • Stiff neck or neck pain
  • Mental confusion
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • Abdominal pain or pain when urinating
  • Convulsions or seizures

How To Use Antibiotics Responsibly

Antibiotics are life-saving drugs that treat bacterial infections and prevent serious complications of disease. Unfortunately, these medications are becoming increasingly ineffective due to a phenomenon called antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces, or totally eliminates, the effectiveness of the medication designed to kill them. Bacteria will naturally develop resistance, but the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are speeding up the process at a concerning rate.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are difficult to treat and lead to an array of healthcare issues, including more serious illnesses, longer recovery times, more frequent or longer hospitalizations, more doctor visits, and more expensive treatments. According to the Mayo Clinic, “approximately 2 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria occur in the United States each year, resulting in 23,000 deaths.” These are some scary statistics, but there are steps we can all take as individuals to help prevent antibiotic resistance.

Use antibiotics responsibly:

  • If you’re suffering from a viral illness, antibiotics won’t cure the infection or help you feel better. Talk to your doctor about other medications that will be effective and beneficial for your recovery.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed. It’s critical to complete the full course of medication, even if you start to feel better. If even one bacterium survives an antibiotic treatment, it can multiply and pass on its resistant properties.
  • Never take leftover antibiotics for a later illness. It may not be the appropriate antibiotic, and it won’t be a complete course.
  • Preventing infection altogether can also help reduce antibiotic use and resistance. Practice good hygiene and follow food safety guidelines.
  • While viral Upper Respiratory Infections tend to have more severe symptoms and last longer than an average ‘cold’, antibiotics are not the answer. The medication will be ineffective and will also kill off good gut bacteria that are important to your health! It’s best to let your immune system do the work. Please follow your doctors’ advice and communicate if signs and symptoms get much worse.

Why Am I Coughing?

woman holding tissue over mouth while coughingA cough is a natural reflex that occurs when your body senses an irritation in your throat or airway. The muscles in your chest and abdomen contract to expel air and hopefully, the irritant. While coughing can be uncomfortable, it’s your body’s natural defense against things like mucus, dust, pollen, mold, and smoke.

There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause a cough reflex. If you’re “hacking up a lung” and wondering why, it’s important to consider the characteristics of your cough. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • When does my cough occur? At night, while exercising, after eating?
  • How long have I been coughing? When did it start?
  • How does my cough sound and feel?
  • Does my coughing cause other symptoms, such as sleeplessness, urinary incontinence, dizziness or fainting, headaches?
  • Does my cough produce mucus?

Your answers to these questions can help you and your doctor pinpoint the source of your cough. Acute coughs–those lasting less than 3 weeks–are usually associated with cold, flu, pneumonia, exposure to irritants, or whooping cough. If a cough lasts longer than 8 weeks (or 4 weeks for children), it is considered chronic. Chronic coughs are often attributed to allergies, asthma, bronchitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or postnasal drip.

It may be difficult to decide when to seek medical attention for a cough. Head to our clinic for a professional evaluation if you are experiencing:

  • a cough lasting more than a few weeks
  • shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • cough with symptoms of fever, chills, sweating, or ill appearance
  • painful cough
  • a cough that produces green, yellow, or foul smelling phlegm

We recommend that any cough associated with worsening symptoms, especially in children, be evaluated after 7 days.

Get prompt care for coughing at our clinic today!

Seek emergency care if you or your child has a cough with symptoms of blood-tinged phlegm, chest pain, difficulty breathing, choking or vomiting.

Deciding Where To Go For Flu Treatment

Flu can range from a minor inconvenience to a life-threatening illness, and it can be tough to know just when it’s time to seek professional care. Read up on our quick tips for deciding where to go for flu treatment.

First off, it’s important to recognize flu symptoms. Mild to moderate influenza causes symptoms such as:

women under bed covers deciding where to go for flu treatment

  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

For a mild case of influenza, you’ll likely only need a bit of rest and plenty of fluids to recover, but it’s still a good idea to get checked out– and sooner rather than later. Antiviral medications work best when taken promptly! If you’re having trouble booking an appointment with your Primary Care Provider, an urgent care center is a great option for immediate, comprehensive care.

Just walk into our clinic when it’s convenient for you and our medical team can provide a quick flu test to confirm influenza. We are also able to prescribe medication, perform X-rays, administer IV fluids, and complete blood work as needed.

If you or a loved one is exhibiting severe flu symptoms, you should head right to the Emergency Room. Severe symptoms include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Confusion
  • Respiratory Distress or Difficulty Breathing

High-risk groups, such as infants, the elderly, women who are pregnant and individuals with medical conditions that affect their ability to fight infections, should also be treated in the ER.

Remember, the emergency room should be reserved for true emergencies. When you’re dealing with mild to moderate symptoms, check in with your Primary Care or try an urgent care. You’ll save time and money, and free up the ER for patients who truly need that level of care.

We hope this guide helps you in deciding where to go for flu treatment. Feel free to call us with any questions, and know we’re here when you need care!