Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is a type of viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It’s most common in teenagers and young adults and is often spread via saliva, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “kissing disease.”

The symptoms of glandular fever usually take 4-6 weeks to appear after a person has been infected with the virus. They often include fatigue, a high temperature (fever), sore throat, swollen glands, and a rash. Though the symptoms can be unpleasant, they usually resolve on their own within a couple of weeks. However, the fatigue can sometimes last several more weeks.

In terms of treatment, there is no specific medicine to cure glandular fever, but the symptoms can typically be managed at home with rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relief medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In some cases, complications can occur, such as a swollen spleen or liver, or even more rarely, inflammation of the heart or brain. If these occur, more intensive medical treatment might be needed.

Always consult with a healthcare provider for a correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment options.

Glandular fever

Causes of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis, is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a type of herpes virus. Most people are infected by the virus as children, when the disease produces little or no symptoms. In teens, the disease often results in fever, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes in the throat region, and extreme tiredness. These symptoms can last several weeks.

The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is spread through body fluids, primarily saliva, which is why it’s sometimes dubbed “the kissing disease”. It can also be spread through blood and semen during sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplantations. Other less common ways of transmission include through a cough or sneeze or by sharing items such as cups, toothbrushes, or utensils with an infected person.

Usually, a person who’s infected with EBV isn’t always contagious, but may become contagious again from time to time without any symptoms. This is why it’s so hard to prevent the spread of the virus.

Risk Factors of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, often known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono”, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Certain factors increase the risk of getting this infection:

1. Age: Glandular fever is most common among children, teenagers, and young adults. People between the age of 15 and 24 are particularly susceptible as their immune systems might not have been exposed to the virus yet.

2. Close Contact: The virus is primarily transmitted through saliva and personal close contact, such as kissing or sharing items like toothbrushes, drinking glasses, or utensils.

3. Weakened Immune System: People with weakened immune systems due to conditions like HIV/AIDS or those who are undergoing treatment like chemotherapy are at a higher risk for this infection.

4. Genetic Factors: There is some evidence that suggests susceptibility to EBV infections may be influenced by genetic factors.

5. Blood Transfusion: Very rarely, glandular fever can also be spread through blood transfusion.

It’s important to note that not everyone who is infected with EBV will develop glandular fever. Some may not experience any symptoms, while others may go through mild flu-like symptoms that are often not recognized as glandular fever until the specific antibody test is performed.

Signs and Symptoms of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The symptoms can take up to six weeks to present themselves and can include the following:

1. Fever: A high temperature is one of the more common signs of glandular fever. This fever can also lead to chills or sweating.

2. Sore Throat: Many people suffering from glandular fever will experience a severe, painful throat that can be mistaken for tonsillitis.

3. Swollen Glands: The swelling often occurs in the neck, but you may also notice swelling in other parts of the body, such as the armpits or groin.

4. Fatigue: Extreme tiredness or fatigue is a very common symptom of glandular fever. This symptom can linger even after others have subsided.

5. Loss of Appetite: Another common symptom is a loss of appetite or changes in eating habits.

6. Skin Rash: In some cases, a person might have a pink, measles-like rash.

7. Swollen Spleen: Some people may experience a swollen spleen, which can cause discomfort or pain in the upper left part of the abdomen.

8. Headache: This can range from dull aches to more severe migraines.

9. Body aches or pains: These are often similar to those experienced with the common flu.

10. Jaundice: Jaundice, which is characterized by a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur in severe cases of glandular fever.

Remember, everyone experiences glandular fever differently. Some people may have mild symptoms or even show no symptoms at all. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have glandular fever, it’s important to visit a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosis Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It affects the lymph nodes (glands), liver, spleen, and occasionally other organs.

It’s characterized by symptoms such as a sore throat, high temperature (fever), fatigue, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and feeling generally unwell. The afflicted person might also experience swollen tonsils, body aches, or a rash.

The virus is present in the saliva and can be spread through coughing and sneezing, or by kissing, hence it’s sometimes referred to as the “kissing disease”. It can also be spread by sharing things like cups, toothbrushes, or cutlery with an infected person.

Most people are exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus at some point in their lives, but not everyone who is infected with it will develop glandular fever. Some may barely have symptoms, while others may feel very unwell. People can carry and spread the virus for several weeks or even months after their symptoms have cleared.

Diagnosis is usually based on the presented symptoms and confirmed with blood tests showing the presence of EBV antibodies. In most cases, glandular fever is mild and resolves on its own without treatment in one to two months. General advice includes resting, staying hydrated, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers for comfort.

Treatment of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The disease is most common among teenagers and young adults.

There’s no specific treatment for glandular fever other than managing the symptoms with thorough self-care. Here are some steps for managing glandular fever:

1. Rest and Hydrate: Patients should get plenty of rest and keep well hydrated. This helps the body fight the infection.

2. Pain Killers: Over-the-counter pain and fever medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to manage sore throat and fever.

3. Avoid Alcohol: One should avoid drinking alcohol since the disease often causes the liver to swell, which can be worsened with alcohol consumption and cause severe discomfort.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet can also give your body the necessary nutrients needed to fight off the infection and recover quicker.

5. Avoid Contact Sports: Since glandular fever can cause the spleen to swell, rigorous physical activity and contact sports should be avoided to prevent rupture.

Antibiotics are not used to treat glandular fever because they’re not effective against viral infections.

It’s also important to note that the symptoms of glandular fever can last for several weeks. It’s important to give the body time to recover, and not to rush back into normal activities. Severe complications from glandular fever are rare, but if symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, one should seek medical attention immediately.

Medications commonly used for Glandular fever

Glandular fever, which is also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is primarily caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The condition itself is not treated with specific medications because it is viral, and antibiotics or antiviral drugs aren’t usually effective in its treatment. Instead, treatment is typically symptomatic, aimed at reducing the symptoms associated with the illness.

Here are some of the symptomatic treatments that are often used:

1. Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be used to manage the symptoms like throat pain or fever.

2. Rest: Since the glandular fever causes fatigue, plenty of rest and good sleep are advised.

3. Hydration: Drinking lots of fluids, especially water or juice can help soothe the throat and stay hydrated.

4. Corticosteroids: This is not typically used but may be administered under severe conditions, like when there’s swelling in the throat or tonsils which can make breathing difficult.

Remember, it is always important to see a healthcare provider for any concerns about glandular fever or other health conditions to get personal and accurate diagnosis and treatment. It’s also important to know that, because glandular fever is contagious, it’s also crucial to take precautions to prevent its spread.

Prevention of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis, is commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It’s spread through saliva, usually from coughing, sneezing, or kissing. Prevention mainly involves avoiding close contact with people who are currently infected. Here are some measures to help prevent glandular fever:

1. Good Hygiene: Regular, good quality hand hygiene is essential. Washing your hands often and properly, using soap and warm water, can help prevent the spread of germs.

2. Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Don’t share items that come into contact with the mouth, such as cups, glasses, utensils, or toothbrushes.

3. Avoid Close Contact with Infected Individuals: Close contact, such as kissing or sharing a bed with someone infected with EBV, increases the chance of spreading the infection.

4. Regular Cleaning: Regularly disinfect common surfaces and items to kill any germs that may be present.

5. Strengthen Your Immune System: A healthy lifestyle, with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and reduced stress, can strengthen your immune system, making you less susceptible to infections.

6. Vaccination: Currently there are no vaccines to prevent mononucleosis. But vaccines can protect you from other viruses and infections that could weaken your immune system.


Remember, it’s not always possible to prevent glandular fever, as the Epstein–Barr virus that causes it is very common. If you do get glandular fever, it’ll probably be a one-time thing because you usually develop immunity to the virus after the infection.

FAQ’s about Glandular fever

Glandular fever (also known as infectious mononucleosis) is a type of viral infection that mostly affects young adults. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about glandular fever:

1. What are the symptoms of glandular fever?
Symptoms include high fever, sore throat, swelling of the lymph glands, severe fatigue, tonsillitis, and occasionally swelling of the spleen.

2. What causes glandular fever?
It’s caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The virus is spread through saliva and can be passed from person to person through kissing, hence it’s sometimes known as the “kissing disease”.

3. How is glandular fever diagnosed?
Diagnosis is based on the symptoms, physical examination, and blood tests which can determine if there are antibodies to the virus in your blood.

4. Is there a specific treatment for glandular fever?
There is no specific treatment for glandular fever. The body’s immune system should be able to handle the virus over time. However, doctors often recommend plenty of rest, staying well-hydrated and taking over-the-counter pain relievers for discomfort and fever.

5. How long will I be sick?
The symptoms of glandular fever usually last for two to three weeks, but fatigue, depression, and swollen lymph nodes can last longer.

6. Is glandular fever contagious?
Yes, glandular fever is contagious. It’s spread through bodily fluids, particularly saliva. EBV can also be transmitted through blood and semen during sexual contact, blood transfusions, and organ transplantations.

7. Can glandular fever reoccur?
Usually, a person only gets glandular fever once. However, the virus that causes the disease (EBV) stays in your body for the rest of your life after infection. The virus can reactivate, usually without symptoms, but may occasionally cause glandular fever symptoms to reoccur.

Remember, it’s always advised to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing symptoms or feel unwell.

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Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or mono, is a viral infection caused most commonly by the Epstein-Barr virus. It can cause symptoms like fatigue, sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph glands.


Before taking any treatment, always consult with healthcare professionals. The information above is intended for informational purposes only.

Complications of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or mono, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It’s mainly characterized by fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. Although many individuals recover without problems by themselves within a few weeks, complications can occur, which include:

1. Dehydration: Due to fever and sore throat, individuals might find it difficult to drink enough fluids, leading to dehydration.

2. Fatigue: This is a major complication of glandular fever. It can last for several months, and sometimes longer.

3. Enlargement of the spleen: This occurs in about half the people with glandular fever. It usually returns to normal size within a month, but in rare cases, a rapid increase in size could lead to rupture, which is life-threatening.

4. Liver Problems: Some people might develop hepatitis, or Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), due to liver inflammation.

5. Blood problems: The virus can rarely cause a decrease in red cells (anemia), white cells, or platelets.

6. Complications in the Nervous System: Rarely, glandular fever can also lead to complications in the nervous system such as meningitis, encephalitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and Bell’s palsy.

7. Secondary bacterial infections: These might occur in the throat, sinuses, or airways, which would require antibiotics.

8. Chronic Active EBV Infection: This is a very rare complication characterized by persistent symptoms and organ damage due to an inappropriate response to the EBV infection.

Any suspected or ongoing symptoms of glandular fever should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Home remedies of Glandular fever

Glandular fever, also known as infectious mononucleosis or “mono,” is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It primarily affects teens and young adults. Though there is no cure, symptoms can be managed at home with the following remedies:

1. Rest and Hydration: These are the two most critical aspects in getting well. Always stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and make sure to get plenty of sleep.

2. Over-the-counter Medication: Over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used to alleviate symptoms like fever and sore throat.

3. Gargling: Gargling with warm salty water can soothe a sore throat.

4. Nutritious Diet: Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins can help your body recover faster.

5. Avoidance of strenuous activities: Rest is vital in your recovery process. Avoid heavy lifting and sports to prevent spleen rupture, a rare but severe complication of glandular fever.

6. Soothing Throat Lozenges: Throat lozenges or cough drops can help soothe the throat.

7. Honey and Lemon: Drinking warm water with honey and lemon can also soothing your throat.

Besides, visiting healthcare professionals for advice and treatment is essential in severe cases. Please remember it is always important to seek advice from a healthcare professional before starting any treatment on your own. It’s also important to note that antibiotics do not work on glandular fever as it is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Antibiotics should therefore not be taken unless directed by a healthcare professional.

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Last Update: January 3, 2024