Glandular fever is a viral infection caused by the Epstein–Barr virus. Glandular fever is often spread through oral acts such as kissing which is why it is sometimes called "the kissing disease". However, glandular fever can also be spread by airborne saliva droplets.
Symptoms of glandular fever include:
There is no specific treatment for the Epstein-Barr virus. Paracetamol and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used to ease the flu like symptoms. Other than that, very little can be done to treat Glandular Fever. The symptoms usually pass over the space of about two to four weeks without any complications.
In diagnosing glandular fever, your GP will ask you about your symptoms before carrying out a physical examination. They will look for the characteristic signs of glandular fever, such as swollen lymph nodes, tonsils, liver and spleen. Occasionally if the physical examination does not clearly show evidence of glandular fever, blood tests can sometimes be done in order to get a diagnosis. Two types of blood tests can usually help to diagnose glandular fever. These are:
- an antibody test – the Epstein-Barr virus causes your immune system to release certain antibodies that can be detected through testing
- white blood cell test – a high number of white blood cells usually indicate the presence of an infection