Epstein-Barr Virus (Glandular Fever)

What is glandular fever?


Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or "mono," is a viral infection commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It primarily affects teenagers and young adults but can occur at any age.


What causes glandular fever?


Glandular fever is typically transmitted through the exchange of saliva, commonly referred to as the "kissing disease." It can also spread through coughing, sneezing, and sharing utensils or personal items with an infected person. The Epstein-Barr virus is highly contagious, and it's essential to take precautions to prevent its spread.


What are the symptoms of glandular fever?


  • Fatigue: Severe tiredness and fatigue are hallmark symptoms of glandular fever, often lasting for weeks or even months.

  • Sore Throat: A persistent sore throat, accompanied by swollen tonsils and lymph nodes in the neck, is a typical symptom.

  • Fever: Glandular fever can cause a high fever that may last for several days.

  • Body Aches: Generalized body aches and muscle pain are common.

  • Swollen Spleen: The spleen may become enlarged, leading to discomfort in the upper left abdomen.

  • Rash: In some cases, a rash may develop, particularly after taking certain medications like ampicillin.


How is glandular fever diagnosed and treated?


If you suspect you have glandular fever, it's crucial to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and management. A healthcare professional will conduct a physical examination, evaluate your symptoms, and may order blood tests to confirm the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus.

As glandular fever is a viral infection, antibiotics are not effective in treating it. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms and promoting recovery. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate fever, sore throat, and body aches. It's essential to avoid contact sports and heavy lifting during the recovery period to prevent spleen complications.


How long does it take to recover from glandular fever?


Recovery from glandular fever can take several weeks or longer. While most people make a full recovery, some may experience fatigue and weakness for an extended period. Engaging in gentle physical activity and gradually increasing energy levels can aid in the recovery process.


When should I seek medical help for glandular fever?


If you suspect you have glandular fever or experience severe symptoms like difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, or persistent high fever, seek immediate medical attention.

Additionally, if symptoms worsen or persist for an extended period, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and support.

Remember, early diagnosis and proper care can help you manage glandular fever effectively and facilitate a smoother recovery journey.


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