Glandular Fever

Glandular Fever

Glandular Fever (or infectious mononucleosis) is an infection caused by a virus -- the Epstein Barr virus.
It is sometimes known as the "kissing disease" because the virus can be passed on via saliva. Coughs and sneezes and sharing food utensils can also pass it on. It's harder to catch than a cold. It is not a sexually transmitted disease.
It generally affects teenagers and younger people. A full and quick recovery, without the need to see a doctor is the usual course of events.

Some can carry the virus in their body without developing infection. This is harmless.
Normally it's not possible to work out who gave the infection to who. However it is known that the virus is most likely to be passed on whilst the temperature is high, so very close contact, such as kissing, should be avoided at this time.

Symptoms develop between 4 and 8 weeks after infection and start with a very severe, sore throat, swollen tonsils, a high temperature and difficulty swallowing.
Other symptoms can include:
- Tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches and headaches
- Swollen tender glands in the neck and armpits
- Skin rash (sometimes associated with antibiotics)
- Abdominal pain
- No response to antibiotics (given for presumed bacterial throat infection) makes glandular fever more likely.
Glandular fever is very difficult to diagnose from other causes of sore throats and tonsillitis. In most cases this does not matter, as symptoms will resolve quickly.

There is no treatment that will work for Glandular Fever -- like a cold it has to run its course. People are sometimes treated with antibiotics when more severe sore throat symptoms develop. Glandular fever symptoms are unlikely to improve with antibiotics (antibiotics don't work for viral infections).

Most sore throats need no investigation. However, if your symptoms are severe or fail to resolve after a trial of antibiotics your doctor may decide to take blood tests.
These can confirm whether Glandular fever is present and look for other infective causes. Still no treatment will be possible but at least you will have a better idea of what to expect.

If you have glandular fever your doctor will advise measures to help improve your symptoms by reducing your fever ensuring that plenty of fluids are drunk. Avoidance of alcohol is helpful.

Like most infections symptoms can range from mild to severe
But you should feel better in a week or so.

Unfortunately in some people glandular fever infection can be extremely severe -- this is rare.
Some people experience fatigue and low mood for weeks after initial symptoms have subsided -- this is not so rare.

Most cases of sore throat are not Glandular Fever.
Consult you doctor if symptoms are persistent or you are significantly unwell, have great difficulty swallowing or abdominal pain.

If you are unsure in anyway about your health then get checked out. Seek advice from your family doctor, nurse or clinic.

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Description

Glandular Fever (or infectious mononucleosis) is an infection caused by a virus -- the Epstein Barr virus.
It is sometimes known as the "kissing disease" because the virus can be passed on via saliva. Coughs and sneezes and sharing food utensils can also pass it on. It's harder to catch than a cold. It is not a sexually transmitted disease.
It generally affects teenagers and younger people. A full and quick recovery, without the need to see a doctor is the usual course of events.

Some can carry the virus in their body without developing infection. This is harmless.
Normally it's not possible to work out who gave the infection to who. However it is known that the virus is most likely to be passed on whilst the temperature is high, so very close contact, such as kissing, should be avoided at this time.

Symptoms develop between 4 and 8 weeks after infection and start with a very severe, sore throat, swollen tonsils, a high temperature and difficulty swallowing.
Other symptoms can include:
- Tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches and headaches
- Swollen tender glands in the neck and armpits
- Skin rash (sometimes associated with antibiotics)
- Abdominal pain
- No response to antibiotics (given for presumed bacterial throat infection) makes glandular fever more likely.
Glandular fever is very difficult to diagnose from other causes of sore throats and tonsillitis. In most cases this does not matter, as symptoms will resolve quickly.

There is no treatment that will work for Glandular Fever -- like a cold it has to run its course. People are sometimes treated with antibiotics when more severe sore throat symptoms develop. Glandular fever symptoms are unlikely to improve with antibiotics (antibiotics don't work for viral infections).

Most sore throats need no investigation. However, if your symptoms are severe or fail to resolve after a trial of antibiotics your doctor may decide to take blood tests.
These can confirm whether Glandular fever is present and look for other infective causes. Still no treatment will be possible but at least you will have a better idea of what to expect.

If you have glandular fever your doctor will advise measures to help improve your symptoms by reducing your fever ensuring that plenty of fluids are drunk. Avoidance of alcohol is helpful.

Like most infections symptoms can range from mild to severe
But you should feel better in a week or so.

Unfortunately in some people glandular fever infection can be extremely severe -- this is rare.
Some people experience fatigue and low mood for weeks after initial symptoms have subsided -- this is not so rare.

Most cases of sore throat are not Glandular Fever.
Consult you doctor if symptoms are persistent or you are significantly unwell, have great difficulty swallowing or abdominal pain.

If you are unsure in anyway about your health then get checked out. Seek advice from your family doctor, nurse or clinic.

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