Glandular feverGlandular fever infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Although it can make you feel quite ill, full recovery is usual. It is a self-limiting illness which means it usually goes away by itself. Glandular fever is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr glansular. This virus can be passed from person to corticosteroids glandular fever by close contact especially kissing.
Management Options for Infectious Mononucleosis
While the symptoms of glandular fever can be very unpleasant, most of them should pass within two to three weeks. Fatigue, however, can occasionally last several months.
While there is little your GP can do in terms of treatment, they can provide advice and support to help you control your symptoms and reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.
These symptoms can be a sign of a complication of glandular fever that may need to be treated in hospital. This virus is found in the saliva of infected people and can be spread through:. Read more about the causes of glandular fever. However, if a person develops an EBV infection during early adulthood, they can develop glandular fever.
Once you have had glandular fever, it is unlikely you will develop it again. This is because people develop lifelong immunity after the initial infection. They will look for characteristic signs of glandular fever, such as swollen glands, tonsils, liver and spleen. Some people with particularly severe symptoms may need to be looked after in hospital for a few days. Complications associated with glandular fever are uncommon, but when they do occur they can be serious.
Symptoms of glandular fever are thought to take around one to two months to develop after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus EBV. Read more about treating glandular fever. EBV is most often spread through the saliva of someone who carries the infection.
When you come into contact with infected saliva, the virus can infect the cells on the lining of your throat. The infection is then passed into your white blood cells before spreading through the lymphatic system.
This is a series of glands nodes found throughout your body that allows many of the cells that your immune system needs to travel around the body. After the infection has passed, people develop lifelong immunity to the virus and most won't develop symptoms again.
Many people are first exposed to EBV during childhood, when the infection causes few symptoms and often goes unrecognised before it eventually passes. Young adults may be most at risk of glandular fever because they might not have been exposed to the virus when they were younger, and the infection tends to produce more severe symptoms when you're older. Not everyone who can pass on EBV will have symptoms themselves. These are known as asymptomatic carriers.
Some people can have the virus in their saliva for a few months after recovering from glandular fever, and may continue to have the virus in their saliva on and off for years. This is because the virus remains inactive in the body for the rest of your life after you have been exposed to it. For most people, the inactive virus won't cause any symptoms. However, there is a chance of the virus periodically becoming reactivated, which may mean it re-enters the saliva.
There is currently no cure for glandular fever, but the symptoms should pass within a few weeks. There are things you can do to help control your symptoms. You should gradually increase your activities as your energy levels return, but avoid activities you cannot manage comfortably. For the first month after your symptoms begin, avoid contact sports or activities that put you at risk of falling. You can return to work, college or school as soon as you feel well enough. There is little risk of spreading the infection to others as long as you follow commonsense precautions while you are ill, such as not kissing other people or sharing utensils.
Treatment in hospital may involve receiving fluids or antibiotics directly into a vein intravenously , corticosteroid injections and pain relief. Most people with glandular fever will recover in two or three weeks and won't experience any further problems. However, complications can develop in a few cases. Some of the main complications associated with the condition are described below.
It is not known why fatigue lasts longer in some people. Some experts think it may be a form of chronic fatigue syndrome CFS. This is a poorly understood condition that causes persistent fatigue and a range of other symptoms, such as headaches and joint pain.
In a few cases, glandular fever can lead to a reduction in some blood cells. It can reduce levels of:. These problems should get better by themselves within a few weeks or months. Around half of people who develop glandular fever will have a swollen spleen. A ruptured spleen usually occurs as a result of damage caused by vigorous physical activities, such as contact sports.
It is therefore very important to avoid these activities for at least a month after the symptoms of glandular fever begin. Be particularly careful during the second and third week of your illness, as this is when the spleen is most vulnerable.
These complications will often need specific treatment, but more than four out of every five people with them will make a full recovery. In a small number of cases, the initial infection weakens your immune system and allows bacteria to infect parts of the body.
This is called a secondary bacterial infection. If you have a weakened immune system and you develop glandular fever, as a precaution you may be referred to hospital for specialist treatment.
Home Illnesses and conditions Symptoms and self help Tests and treatments Healthy living Care, support and rights. Home Illnesses and conditions Infections and poisoning Glandular fever. Introduction Glandular fever is a type of viral infection that mostly affects young adults.
When to seek medical advice You should contact your GP if you suspect that you or your child has glandular fever. What causes glandular fever? This virus is found in the saliva of infected people and can be spread through: Glandular fever can affect people of all ages, but most cases affect teenagers and young adults.
Possible complications Complications associated with glandular fever are uncommon, but when they do occur they can be serious. Symptoms Symptoms of glandular fever are thought to take around one to two months to develop after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus EBV.
For example, it can be spread through: Treatment There is currently no cure for glandular fever, but the symptoms should pass within a few weeks. Complications Most people with glandular fever will recover in two or three weeks and won't experience any further problems. It can reduce levels of: Ruptured spleen Around half of people who develop glandular fever will have a swollen spleen.
Secondary infection In a small number of cases, the initial infection weakens your immune system and allows bacteria to infect parts of the body. How can we improve this page? Help us improve NHS inform. Message Maximum of characters. Also on NHS inform. Community content from Health Unlocked.