Chain of Infection

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December 10, 2010

Chain of Infection

Link 1: The Organism (10 pts)

Scientific name: Infectious mononucleosis

Common name of disease: mono; also, the kissing disease

Characteristics: [bacteria/virus/parasite, toxins, anaerobe/aerobe, etc]

Mononucleosis is a lymphatic system disease, usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) (first cultured by Michael Epstein and Yvonne Barr). A similar condition is often caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is also a herpes virus. Both EBV and CMV have a tendency to become latent in host cells.

Incubation periods are often lengthy (4-8 weeks). Symptoms include extreme fatigue, sore throat, high fever, weight loss, and often pharyngeal inflammation. Symptoms usually persist for 2-3 weeks, occasionally even longer. Fatigue symptoms often persist even longer. Infections are often likely to be permanent, but is almost never fatal.

Some estimates place the incidence of infection as high as 90% of the worlds population. After the initial infection period, generally the virus causes no noticeable symptoms, although the age of the infected individual does seem to matter. During the teen years, more symptomatic disease results than does an infection occurring either before or after this time. A big factor in the virulence of this disease is its long incubation and latency periods.

Link 2: Reservoir (10 pts)

[Fill in where it normally lives, or its normal host.]

Humans are the main hosts for mononucleosis. After symptoms have subsided, EBV cells may reside in the host’s throat and blood permanently. These people
are periodically able to spread the disease for the duration of their lives, often without exhibiting any symptoms of the ailment themselves. This, of course makes the transmission of the disease almost impossible to prevent.

Link 3: Portal of Exit (5 pts)...
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