Glandular Fever

By: Joe Swails


What is glandular fever?
Glandular fever is a viral infection. Although it is not a particularly serious condition, glandular fever can be difficult to accurately diagnose due its symptoms being extremely similar to several other fever-like health conditions.

If you become infected with glandular fever it is rare that you will suffer a second bout of the illness in your lifetime. This is because your body’s immune system will have developed antibodies which will protect you from becoming re-infected.

The virus that causes glandular fever is called the Epstein-Barr virus.

Although the symptoms of glandular fever can make you feel rather unwell, it is a self-limiting illness. This means that the symptoms ease and clear up altogether after about a week.

Symptoms
Symptoms of glandular fever include:

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Sore throat

Headache

Muscular and skeletal aches and pains

Fever

Tiredness (this can sometimes be overwhelming fatigue)

Weight-loss (due to a lack of appetite)

Puffy eyes

Other associated symptoms which sometimes occur include a widespread rash over the body, jaundice and depressive illness (please see contact details for the Depression Alliance in the Advice & Support section at the foot of this article).

Causes
Glandular fever is usually passed on from one person to another through close contact, such as kissing (the virus is passed on through saliva), or through the sharing of things such as cups, glasses and/or food containers that have been used first by an infected person, then by others.

The Epstein-Barr virus is highly contagious and it is not uncommon for an entire family to develop glandular fever after a family gathering, such as a birthday party, wedding or christening where relatives greet each other and part by kissing. It only takes one person infected with the Epstein-Barr virus to be in amongst the group for the virus to spread. This is why, if you do have glandular fever, it is best to avoid all close contact with others unless your symptoms have completely cleared up.

Diagnosis
If you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms and think that you may be suffering from glandular fever, arrange an appointment with your GP. After taking your medical history, asking you some questions about your symptoms, and then carrying out a short examination of your neck to feel for swollen glands, you will then be asked to have a blood test. The purpose of the test is to check for the presence of EBV antibodies.

If a confirmed diagnosis of glandular fever is then made (i.e. based upon the results of the test), an appropriate treatment will be recommended to you.

Treatment
There is no specific treatment for glandular fever. Your symptoms should clear up within a week. Drink plenty of water and, as we have already seen, it is essential to avoid close contact with others during this time. Also, do not share towels, flannels, cups, glasses, cutlery, toothbrushes or bathroom gargle cups with others during your period of infection.

How Chemist Online Can Help
Through this website we have a range of treatments available to buy which can help ease the symptoms and associated symptoms of glandular fever, such as headaches, sore throat and feverish symptoms.

www.chemistonline.co.uk

Advice & Support
Health Protection Agency
Tel. 020 7759 2700
Website: www.hpa.org.uk

Depression Alliance
Tel: 0845 123 23 20
Website: www.depressionalliance.org

This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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