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Health Questions & Answers #65 ~ [Issue 0605-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Jun 25, 2005 13:54 PDT 

Q & A #1:
What are the similarities or differences between mononucleosis and
Epstein-Barr Virus?

Infectious mononucleosis (mono) is a viral infection. The most common
cause is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

Signs and symptoms of mono include fever, sore throat and swollen
lymph nodes. Mono usually is not serious. But the virus remains in
your body for life. Some people with mono have minimal symptoms, and
the infection goes undetected. When infection with EBV occurs during
adolescence or young adulthood, it causes mononucleosis in up to 50
percent of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and

EBV is a member of the herpes virus family. It's one of the most
common viruses that affect humans. Most people have been exposed to
EBV by age 35 and have developed antibodies to it. As a result, they
are immune and rarely get it again. It was once thought that EBV may
cause chronic fatigue syndrome, which is similar to chronic
mononucleosis. But doctors no longer believe this is true.

Q & A #2:
A nurse told me not to heat baby bottles in the microwave. Do you
know why?

This is primarily a safety issue. Although microwaves are convenient,
they can heat liquids unevenly. As a result, there may be hot spots
that can burn your baby's mouth - even though the outside of the
bottle or a few drops of the liquid may feel only warm.

Many babies prefer warmed bottles of formula or breast milk. But
feedings do not have to be warmer than body temperature. Most babies
do just fine with feedings warmed to room temperature. Older babies
may readily drink cold liquids.

The best way to warm a bottle is to place the filled bottle in a bowl
or pan of hot water and let it stand for a few minutes. Shake the
bottle after warming it to distribute the warmed milk evenly. Then
turn it upside down and allow a drop or two of the liquid to fall on
your hand or wrist. It should feel comfortable or barely warm.

If you must use the microwave method, follow these precautions: 1.
Keep the bottle upright and uncovered (no nipple) during heating to
allow heat to escape. 2. Heat 4-ounce bottles at the high setting for
no longer than 30 seconds and 8-ounce bottles for no longer than 45
seconds. 3. Turn the bottle upside down at least 10 times. This evens
the temperature difference between the top and bottom and eliminates
hot spots. 4.Always test the formula's temperature before feeding it
to your baby. It should feel cool to slightly warm. 5. If you need a
bottle warmed in a restaurant, ask how they warm baby bottles. If
they use a microwave, you will want to follow these same precautions.

Q & A #3:
When a mosquito bites me, I get big, nickel-sized welts. Is this normal?

The normal reaction to a mosquito bite is a small area of swelling,
itching, and redness at the site. This typically goes away within 24
hours. Some people are highly sensitive to mosquito bites and develop
larger local reactions. This type of reaction may last for several
days. But it is usually not serious.

Rarely, an individual may have a serious reaction to mosquito bites,
which results in swelling in the throat, hives, and wheezing. This is
a life-threatening condition (anaphylaxis) and requires immediate
medical attention.

If you are sensitive to mosquito bites, the best advice is to avoid
getting bitten. Follow these common-sense precautions: Avoid areas,
such as marshes, where mosquito activity is highest. Avoid going
outside when mosquito activity is highest, such as at dusk and dawn
and after rain. Wear protective clothing when outside. Use insect
repellent. To relieve the itching of a bite, apply a lotion
containing calamine. If you have a large local reaction, consider
taking an antihistamine such as Benadryl to see if it helps.
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