I have a 19-year-old female client with a history of mono and more recently a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr virus. With regards to the Epstein-Barr, are there certain parameters I should follow?
The Epstein-Barr virus is the viral cause of Infectious Mononucleosis (mono). It is a herpes-like virus that attacks the body in two ways:
- Infects the epithelial cells (found in mouth and throat), kills the cell and then reproduces.
- “Offspring” cells lie dormant (latent) and can become active, thus providing for a long lasting infection.
The virus is commonly spread only through direct salivary exchange (kissing). No solid research supports exchange by airborne viral transmission (coughing, sneezing). Symptoms range from headaches, sore throat, lethargy, enlarged spleen and liver, swollen eyelids, diarrhea, stiff joints and fever.
The infection can be quite persistent due to the length of time the subject is affected. However, most subjects report to be feeling significantly better by the seventh day. At that time, it is alright to return to light activity within the subjective limits of each subject. If fatigue is persistent, reduce activity. Exercise should be non-contact in nature. The enlarged spleen and liver are at risk of rupture, which can be a serious medical situation. So, contact-related activities should not begin until cleared by a physician. It can take up to nine months for a subject to feel up to “full strength.” Some research has reported to show a boost in immunity with mild to moderate intensity exercise. However, moderate to high intensity exercise can lower immunity and increase the risk of infection and relapse. In situations like these, it is a great resource to network with local physicians. They can be instrumental in creating a great working relationship with health care professionals in your community.
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