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Glandular Fever

What is Glandular Fever?

Glandular fever is a viral disease that affects certain blood cells. When a person has glandular fever, there is an increase of mononuclear cells (white blood cells).

Glandular fever is also called mononucleosis and the kissing disease.

What causes Glandular Fever?

Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a member of the herpes virus family. Most cases of glandular fever occur sporadically.

Complications of Glandular Fever

Some common complications are: swollen spleen, liver and lymph glands.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of glandular fever are:

  • fever
  • headache
  • blocked nose
  • nausea
  • sore throat
  • swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin

How is Glandular Fever Diagnosed?

Glandular fever is diagnosed by blood tests. An examination of the blood under a microscope may reveal an increased number of white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Other blood tests may show an increase in antibody levels (antibodies react to infectious organisms in the blood and create immunity).

Incubation Period

The incubation period for adults is between 10 and 60 days. The incubation period for children and adolescents is between 7 and 4 days.

How long does Glandular Fever Last?

The major symptoms usually disappear within 2 or 3 weeks, but for a further period of at least 2 weeks you may feel weak, lacking in energy and depressed. Occasionally the lethargy can last for months.

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