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Glandular Fever – Causes and Symptoms of Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a type of viral infection associated with high fever. It is also called as infectious mononucleosis or kissing disease. It is characterized by fatigue, sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes and glands. The virus responsible is Epstein-Barr virus, a strain of herpes group of viruses. Earlier people used to think that glandular fever was caused due to kissing as the saliva helped in spreading of the infection.

Glandular fever is common in children and can occur in adults too. It mostly affects young people of age 10 to 25. The infection lasts for 1 to 2 weeks but sometimes may turn to serious complications.

Causes of Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is caused by a virus Epstein-Barr. The virus attacks two types of cells i.e cells salivary glands and B lymphocytes of white blood cells.

The infection starts in the salivary glands where a huge amounts of viruses are released. The virus particles spread to white blood cells and multiply in number. This leads to swelling of lymph nodes and pain arises at the site.

Once a person is infected, the virus remains in the body throughout the life and stays dormant. This provides a lifelong immunity towards fever and hence fever does not catch again.

The virus is transmitted from infected person to another through:

  • Saliva
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

Symptoms of Glandular Fever
The symptoms of glandular fever usually begin between 4 to 7 weeks after the viral attack. The symptoms include:

  • Non-itchy red rash that spreads and disappears quickly
  • Enlarged liver along with yellow jaundice
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpits and neck
  • Swollen spleen
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Swelling and puffiness around the eyes
  • Muscle pains
  • Severe fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms, seek medical professional help immediately.


Diagnosis of Glandular Fever

The doctor diagnoses glandular fever through the symptoms you develop. After diagnosing the infection, a blood test is carried out. A positive blood test shows abnormal cells i.e monocytes that is a diagnostic feature of the glandular fever.

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