Glandular Fever (Infectious Mononucleosis)

Glandular fever of infectious mononucleosis is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus of the herpes group.

It occurs at any age but usually in people between the ages of 12 to 35. Mild attacks are common in young children. It is not a highly contagious disease. The virus is transmitted only by close contact such as kissing. In past years attacks tended to be more isolated. However, in the past 20 years, attacks tend to come as epidemics often in late spring and early summer. An attack may be associated with a lowered resistance to infection through a general state of debility due to stress, overwork, lack of sleep and a break down in the bodyís immune system.

The incubation period is approximately 2 weeks but can be shorter.

Early symptoms are flu-like with sore throat and general weariness. This is followed over the next week or so by an extremely sore throat, a thickly coated tongue and mouth, slightly painful and swollen glands in the neck, under the arms and in the groin and a swelling of the spleen.

Fever with extreme sweating at night is a feature as also is extreme weariness. In less than 50% of cases a non-specific rash can occur.

In complicated cases hepatitis can develop with jaundice.

The throat can swell to an alarming degree which makes breathing and swallowing difficult.

In rare cases complications can extend to heart, brain, lung, kidney and spleen.

There is no evidence that glandular fever is dangerous during pregnancy.

A simple blood test can always confirm the diagnosis.

Bed rest is essential in all but the mildest of cases. Pain can be relieved by aspirin. However, in more severe cases, antibiotics may be necessary for an associated bacterial infection of the throat.

Towards the end of the illness, a return to work or school will depend on the patientís feeling of wellbeing.

Bed rest should be advised until a feeling of wellbeing is established over a period of several days to a week. By insisting on sufficient bed rest convalescence is shortened and the patient will get back to school or work much quicker with fewer relapses.

In some cases the illness may linger for two to three months and this is often due to not emphasising complete bed rest as an essential part of the treatment.

People who have experienced a severe attack of glandular fever are prone to further attacks during future epidemics.

- Anaemia - Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia
- Anxiety - Arthritis
- Asthma - Backache
- Blood Pressure including Hypertension - Boils and Carbuncles
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Chronic Bronchitis
- Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex) - Colostomy and Ileostomy
- Constipation - Cramp
- Cystitis - Diabetes
- Diarrhoea - Earache
- Footcare - Gallstones
- Glandular Fever (Infectious Mononucleosis) - Gout
- Haemophilia - Headache
- Hepatitis - Hip Replacement
- Indigestion - Influenza
- Jaundice - Kidney Stones
- Legionnaires Disease - Low Blood Pressure
- Migraine - Nose Bleeding
- Osteoporosis - Peptic Ulcers (Gastric or Duodenal)
- Piles (Haemorrhoids) - Pneumonia
- Poor Circulation (incl Buergers & Raynauds Disease) - Prostate Problems
- Rheumatic Fever - Shingles
- Sleeping Difficulties (Insomnia) - Slipped Disc
- Spinal Injuries - The Common Cold
- The Overactive Thyroid Gland - The Underactive Thyroid Gland
- Thrombophlebitis of Superficial Veins - Thrombosis in Veins
- Tonsillitis and Complications

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