Glandular fever

Glandular fever is a viral disease that mainly affects young people. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is characterized by symptoms such as extreme fatigue, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes.

Here's how EBV spreads and causes glandular fever:

  • Direct contact: EBV is primarily transmitted through direct contact with the saliva of an infected person. It can happen through kissing, sharing food or drink, even contact with objects that have been contaminated with infected saliva.

  • Airborne particles: The virus can also spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, it is less common than direct contact.

  • Sexual transmission: In rare cases, EBV can be transmitted sexually especially if there is direct contact with infected bodily fluids.

When EBV enters a person's body, it primarily infects white blood cells, especially B lymphocytes. This leads to a strong immune reaction which in turn gives rise to the characteristic symptoms of glandular fever including swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, fatigue and fever.

Common symptoms of glandular fever include:

  • Extreme fatigue: One of the most prominent symptoms is a severe feeling of fatigue that can be long-lasting and affect the ability to perform daily activities.

  • Sore throat: This can be very painful and can make swallowing difficult.

  • Swollen lymph nodes: Especially lymph nodes in the neck and in the area around the jaw may swell and feel tender.

  • Enlarged spleen: Sometimes the spleen can become enlarged which can cause pain in the upper left the area of the abdomen.

  • Enlarged liver: Sometimes the liver can also become enlarged which can be demonstrated through medical tests.

  • Fever: A moderate to high fever is common and may be followed by chills.

  • Headache: Many people with glandular fever experience headaches.

  • Sore muscles: Muscle pain or aches may occur.

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion: Some people may have symptoms similar to a cold.

  • Rash: A bright, a spot-shaped rash can sometimes occur but it is rare and disappears spontaneously.

It is important to note that the symptoms of glandular fever can vary from person to person and not all sufferers need to experience all symptoms.

Glandular fever treatment

Treatment for glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) is usually aimed at relieving symptoms and promoting recovery as there is no specific cure for the disease. Here are some measures that can help in the treatment of glandular fever:

  1. Rest: Since extremity fatigue is a predominant symptom of glandular fever, it is important to rest properly . This includes taking it easy and avoiding overexertion.

  2. Pain relief: To relieve sore throats, headaches and muscle pain, pain relievers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol may be helpful benefit. Be sure to follow dosage instructions and consult a doctor if you are unsure.

  3. Moisture and throat relief: Drinking cold water and using throat lozenges or sprays can help relieve a sore throat.

  4. Avoid alcohol and heavy food: It may be wise to avoid alcohol and fatty food as they can strain the liver which may be affected by glandular fever.

  5. Hydration: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated especially if you have a fever.

  6. Monitor for complications: In rare cases, glandular fever can lead to complications affecting the liver or spleen. If you experience severe symptoms or have unusual reactions, you should seek medical attention.

It is important to remember that glandular fever is a disease that usually subsides on its own with time.