Glandular fever is an acute monoucleosis infection. Monoucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which is in the same classification as the herpes virus. Developing an infection from EPV is fairly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 95 percent of adults in the age range of 35 to 45, have been infected with the virus at some point in their lives. When an adolescent or young adult becomes infected with EPV, the virus has about a 50 percent chance of developing into mono.
The Kissing Disease
Mono is often referred to as the kissing disease. In many instances, the virus that causes mono is transferred through saliva, such as in kissing. However, the virus can also be transferred when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes on you, by sharing drinks from someone who is infected, or by sharing eating utensils with someone who is infected.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it can take up to two months for the virus to incubate before symptoms manifest. Symptoms begin with a fever, and a feeling of being overly tired. Sore throat, swollen tonsils, and sometimes strep throat is common. Your lymph nodes in your neck and in your armpits will be swollen. You may also have headaches, a loss of appetite and night sweats. Your spleen will also become inflamed.
In some instances, having mono can cause your spleen to enlarge. Very rarely will your spleen rupture. However, if you begin to experience a sudden sharp pain in the upper left side of your abdomen, seek medical attention. This could be a sign that your spleen has ruptured. Mono can also cause jaundice and your liver can become inflamed.
Though antibiotics cannot help treat a mono infection, antibiotics can help treat infections, such as strep throat. If you develop an infection of your tonsils, antibiotics may also help. According to the Mayo Clinic, if your throat and tonsils become swollen enough to cause discomfort, your physician can prescribe the corticosteroid, prednisone. Prednisone can help lesson the severity of swelling of your tonsils or throat.
If you have been diagnosed with mono, and are symptomatic, don't kiss others. Refrain from sharing any eating utensils, glasses or food with others. The Epstein-Barr virus is still present within your saliva for many months after you have become infected. If you sneeze or cough, try to do so into a tissue. Dispose of the tissue promptly. No vaccine exists against EPV. While it is possible to develop an immunity to EPV after having been infected once, it is possible to develop an infection again.