Glandular fever is a common infection among young adults and teenagers. It is also is known as infectious mononucleosis. The presenting symptoms are extreme tiredness and fatigue, fever, sore throat, and/or swollen lymph glands/nodes.
It is also known as the EBV (Epstein - Barr virus). The herpes virus is the primarily cause of this condition. This virus is said to be present in 90 to 95% of people around the world, which occasionally causes glandular fever in susceptible people.
Most of the glandular symptoms pass within the first month, but patients often experience the tiredness for several months. If you believe you have glandular fever getting a definitive diagnosis with the help of a doctor is important to prevent any complications later on.
Glandular fever is difficult to notice on your own because it can come without symptoms. However it is capable of passing without treatment and only when another problem arises at a later date is it attributed to this disease. At present there is no cure for this condition.
The symptoms of glandular fever appear after four to six weeks. (It has an incubation period of four to six weeks.) Symptoms can last for several weeks, especially fatigue.
Even during early childhood, EBV infections can occur. Once infected, your immune system produces antibodies to fight the EBV.
After infection, EBV will remain in your body for life. Antibodies will provide for lifelong immunity. Glandular fever rarely returns for a second time.
However, if the virus does return again, occasionally symptoms may be repeated, especially if you have a weak immune system. Those who were infected with EBV during their teenage years, or even early adulthood, are at additional risk of possibly developing glandular fever again.
Furthermore, people can be infected through exposure to sneezes/coughs, sharing unwashed glasses and cutleries by an already infected person. This is because the virus lives in the saliva of infected individuals. This condition is also referred to as the “kissing disease” because it can spread through kissing.
If you believe you are at risk of glandular fever or already experiencing symptoms, you can speak to a doctor and set an appointment to undergo a simple blood test.
Please be advised to arrive well-hydrated which helps make the procedure easier.
Glandular fever testing is a simple and fast blood test. A healthcare professional will insert a needle into your vein near the elbow and draw a small amount of blood for testing. You may feel a scratch or pricking sensation.
Glandular fever is a viral infection. It is important to tell the doctor if you know you already have this infection. The correct diagnosis and advice can then be given to help the doctor to monitor you and help you get better.