Many teenagers are in love with the idea of being in love! You can see lots of them cuddling, holding hands and making out. There is a particular disease that is said to be very common among young adults, which is caused by a virus — it’s called glandular fever.
This health problem goes by other name, too, such as mononucleosis or mono. It is oftentimes referred to as the kissing disease because — you guessed it right — it’s spread through saliva.
Since it is viral in nature, there is no known cure for glandular fever. However, the signs and symptoms which are similar to the flu tend to go away in 1 to 2 months, according to medical professionals. Treatment is focused on easing the various symptoms experienced by the patient. There are also home treatments that can help in dealing with the symptoms. It’s very rarely that glandular fever becomes fatal.
It is not unlikely for someone with glandular fever to develop secondary infections such as tonsillitis and sinusitis. There are also a handful of complications that are associated with the viral disease. Some of them include an inflamed liver and enlarged spleen. In rare instances, the swollen spleen due to glandular fever may rupture, requiring surgery. Such rupturing of the spleen is often caused by a forceful blow to the abdomen, such as while engaging in sports.
Causes and Risk Factor
The virus responsible for glandular fever is the Epstein-Barr virus or EBV, which is a part of the herpes family. EBV is also regarded as one of the most common viruses to infect man worldwide.
Just like what’s mentioned earlier, the said virus can be spread from person to person through saliva. It’s not just via kissing that glandular fever can infect others — it may also be passed through sneezing, coughing and sharing utensils with someone with EBV.
You may have glandular fever already but not know it right away. That’s because the signs and symptoms tend to appear 4 to 8 weeks after getting infected. However, it’s possible for someone to have the viral disease and not develop any sign or symptom. It’s not uncommon for glandular fever to affect children and heal on its own without even causing noticeable signs and symptoms.
Those who are between 15 and 30 years old are said to be at higher risk of having glandular fever. Just about anyone who comes into contact with a large number of people may get infected as well. Nurses, caregivers and individuals who take drugs to suppress their immune systems are also at risk.
Signs and Symptoms
It can be hard to distinguish glandular fever from flu and other problems caused by common viruses because the signs and symptoms are basically the same. In some instances, the infection produces no noticeable signs or symptoms at all; but when it does, they tend to appear 4 to 8 weeks after being infected with EBV.
The most common signs and symptoms of glandular fever include swollen lymph nodes in the neck and/or other parts of the body, fever, headache, muscle weakness, night sweats and sore throat. Someone with the viral infection may also have chills, loss of appetite, skin rash, eye puffiness, and pain around or behind the eyes.
In 1 to 2 months, these signs and symptoms may resolve on their own. According to the experts, most people with glandular fever may return to having a normal life in 2 to 4 weeks only. However, it is possible for fatigue brought about by the disease to extend for a few weeks or even months.
Treatment and Home Remedies
Because it is caused by a virus, there is no known cure for glandular fever. Antibiotics are not given to a patient as they have no effect on viruses. However, doctors may prescribe drugs to help in easing painful and inflamed throat that may develop due to the disease.
There are a few home care solutions that should be provided to someone with glandular fever for faster recovery. Some of them include plenty of bed rests and increased fluid intake. OTC painkillers may also be taken.