What's going around this month.....
Mono and Sinusitis
Welcome to the November 2011 issue of the Health Matters Newsletter. The Health Matters Newsletter is published on a monthly basis on the Health Center home page, and is linked to the weekly Campus Report. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information, regarding pertinent medical issues and health and wellness suggestions with the students, faculty, and staff here at SUNY Fredonia. This month's topic will be on Mono and Sinusitis.
Infectious Mononucleosis is a relatively contagious infection caused by the Epstein Barr Virus. This virus is transmitted by saliva via sharing food, eating utensils, kissing, sneezing or coughing.
Signs and Symptoms
-Swollen Glands in neck, armpits or groin
-A rash, enlarged spleen or yellowing of the skin may also be seen
-Usually a diagnosis can be confirmed 4-7 days after the onset of illness by doing a blood test. Occasionally, the time interval may be longer or shorter.
-The incubation period may be 4-6 weeks prior to the onset of symptoms.
-The virus can remain in the saliva for approximately six months after acute symptoms are gone.
-Eat well, (small frequent meals) with adequate fluid intake is of primary importance.
-Get plenty of rest
-Lozenges or cough drops may soothe a sore or dry throat.
-Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore or dry throat.
-Concurrent throat infections are usually treated with antibiotics and at times steroids to decrease swelling.
-The health care provider will advise each individual of their limitations. Mild cases may allow a student to attend classes with extra rest periods throughout the day. More severe cases may require full time bed rest and/or rarely hospitalization.
- No Alcohol for six weeks from the time of diagnosis due to the possibility of affecting the liver.
-No contact sports or strenuous exercise for six weeks from the time of diagnosis due to the possibility of an enlarged spleen. A release from the Health Center will be necessary to resume physical activity.
In nearly all cases, a life- long immunity develops. A long lasting antibody shows up in the blood stream 6 – 8 weeks after infection. This will persist for the rest of your life usually giving you immunity from reinfection.
Sinusitis is an infection of the lining of one or more of the sinus cavities. The infection can be bacterial, viral or fungal. A common cold or allergies are frequent causes. When your sinus cavity is infected, the membranes of your nose swell and cause a nasal obstruction. Swelling of the membranes of your nose often obstruct the opening of your sinus and, therefore, prevents the draining of pus or mucous. Pain in your sinus area may result from inflammation itself or from the pressure as secretions build up in your sinuses.
Signs and Symptoms
-Pain and pressure around your eyes or cheeks which sometimes worsens with bending over, coughing or sneezing.
-Headache, toothache, bad breath.
-Thick colored (dark yellow, green, tan, blood tinged) nasal drainage.
-Difficulty breathing through your nose.
-Try to maintain an even temperature indoors.
-Refrain from bending over with your head down.
-Try applying warm facial packs or cautiously inhale steam from a basin of steaming water.
-Increase fluid intake to help dilute secretions
-Gently and regularly blow your nose.
-Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and wash your hands often with soap and water in order to prevent spreading germs to others.
-It is important to not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, water bottles or toothbrushes with others in order to prevent spreading germs to others.
-Take pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen for discomfort.
-Use decongestants such as pseudophedrine or Mucinex D or a short term decongestant spray (no more then 72 hours)
-Try over the counter salt water (saline) nose drops or nasal sprays
-In most instances, a sinus infection is caused by a virus, and does not necessarily require an antibiotic for treatment. If an antibiotic is prescribed, you should see some improvement in 4 days. You must complete the entire course of antibiotics in order to treat the infection adequately. DO NOT share antibiotics with other people or save them for later.
- If symptoms continue to worsen, or no improvement is seen, you should be re-evaluated by a health care provider.