Glandular Fever

Information on Glandular Fever Symptoms and Causes of Infectious Mononucleosis

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  1. What is Glandular Fever?
  2. What are the Symptoms of Glandular Fever?
  3. Pictures of Glandular Fever
  4. What Causes Glandular Fever?
  5. Diagnosing Glandular Fever

What is Glandular Fever?

Glandular fever is the more common term for infectious mononucleosis, or the ‘kissing disease’, as it is sometimes known. It is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Glandular fever symptoms are typically characterized by a sore throat, high fever, swollen lymph nodes or glands, and extreme fatigue.

Glandular fever is not highly infectious, even though the most common way of spreading the virus is through saliva from person to person. This viral infection is most common among young people 10 to 25 years old.

If you catch glandular fever, you may be potentially infectious for weeks or even months afterwards. Sometimes infectious mononucleosis can lead to symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.

In rare cases, glandular fever may lead to serious complications affecting other parts of the body, including inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), inflammation of the sac around the heart (pericarditis), inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), pneumonia, ruptured spleen, or cause the destruction of red blood cells.

What are the Symptoms of Glandular Fever?

Common Glandular Fever Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat/hard to swallow
  • Tiredness, fatigue and malaise
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Tender enlargement of the glands (lymph glands or lymph nodes)
  • Skin rash
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain and enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged liver
  • Jaundice
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling around eyes
  • Orange urine (or discolored)
  • High blood pressure

Pictures of Glandular Fever

What Causes Glandular Fever?

The cause of glandular fever is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The most common way of spreading the virus is through the transmission of saliva from one person to another. Coughing, sneezing, and sharing drink bottles, eating utensils and other personal items can also spread the virus. In addition, the virus can also be spread through blood transfusion and organ transplantation.

Diagnosing Glandular Fever

The diagnosis of glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis is based on your physical symptoms, and will include a blood test and a throat swab. Your doctor will perform a blood test to determine abnormalities in the white blood cells. A throat swab will help determine if you have glandular fever.

Treatments for Glandular Fever

There is no specific treatment for glandular fever and it is generally symptomatic. Rest and sleep are recommended, as well as drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.

Fever and pain can be treated with pain killers such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Recovery usually takes about two weeks and complementary and supportive treatments such as acupuncture and massage can help to improve immune function and congestion of the liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.


Tips for How to Deal with Glandular Fever

Home Treatment

There are a few things that you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms.

  • Drink lots of fluids, particularly water and fruit juices
  • Rest as much as possible, especially if you are running a fever or feeling tired
  • Avoid vigorous physical activities until you are fully recovered
  • Avoid contact sports for at least eight weeks to prevent damage to your spleen, which may have enlarged because of the glandular fever
  • Avoid alcohol for six weeks until you are fully recovered


How to Prevent Contracting Glandular Fever
  • Practice good personal hygiene and remember to wash your hands frequently before eating, cooking, and after visiting the bathroom
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, toothbrushes, food, or drinks
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid kissing or any close contact with people who have been infected
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