Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Comparing Mononucleosis and Viral Encephalitis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Comparing Mononucleosis and Viral Encephalitis

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: My brother was diagnosed with mononucleosis. This diagnosis was later changed to viral encephalitis. Could you please explain the difference between the two illnesses? Symptoms? Transmission? Seriousness? Why the confusion?

Yours is an important and timely letter. It is about this time of year, with schools filled with pupils, that we see a rise in mononucleosis. Also, your encephalitis question goes to the importance of distinguishing between the illnesses.

Mono is a common ailment, featuring sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and an enlarged spleen at onset. The patient might complain of splitting headaches and fever, which are symptoms common to both mono and viral encephalitis, a brain infection.

Mono germs spread by way of infected saliva. Viral encephalitis spreads in numerous ways, such as from mosquito bites or by viruses inhabiting the human intestinal tract. The potential for spread from the digestive tract through blood circulation to the brain makes a viral encephalitis infection much more important than a case of mono.

We don't consider mono among the ominous diseases, although its recuperation stage can be problematical in an active youngster.

Despite potential serious complications of viral encephalitis, most patients recover fully.

I hope and trust your brother will be up and badgering you by the time you read this.

Dear Dr. Donohue: I had transurethral ultrasound of the prostate with prostate biopsy. The doctor called me a few days later and said I have dysplasia. What is that, and what is its significance? He said it is important to watch it, and he will schedule testing again later. …

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