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Glandular Fever, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

glandular fever, glandular fever symptoms, what is glandular fever, glandular fever treatments, glandular fever symptom, symtons of glandular fever,
Glandular Fever, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

Glandular fever is a disease caused by a viral infection that more often affects teenagers. Symptoms of glandular fever are similar to those of the flu and include fever, sore throat, and chills.

Glandular fever is harmless and usually goes away on its own within a few weeks. After recovery, someone who has had glandular fever will be immune to this disease.

Glandular fever in the medical world is known as mononucleosis. This disease is also called the kissing disease because transmission often occurs through kissing.

Causes of Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). A person can be infected with this virus when exposed to the patient's saliva, for example through kissing and sharing the use of glasses or cutlery. Transmission can also occur if someone accidentally inhales a splash of the patient's saliva, for example when the patient sneezes or coughs.

Apart from saliva, the EBV virus is also present in the blood and sperm of people with glandular fever. Therefore, this disease can be transmitted through blood transfusions, organ donation, and sexual intercourse.

The Epstein-Barr virus has an incubation period of 4-7 weeks before symptoms appear. Therefore, a person may not realize that they have glandular fever and can transmit this virus to other people.

Some studies say that glandular fever can be transmitted to other people for up to 18 months after the patient has recovered.

Glandular fever can happen to anyone, but it tends to affect teenagers in their early 20s.

Symptoms of Glandular Fever

Symptoms of glandular fever usually appear 4–6 weeks after a person is infected with the virus that causes this disease. In some sufferers, the symptoms tend to be mild, even not visible at all.

The initial symptoms of glandular fever resemble those of the flu, namely:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fever and chills
  • Weak
  • Muscle ache

After 1–2 days, other symptoms will appear in the form of:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
  • A red rash appears like measles, on the face or other body parts
  • Red spots appear on the roof of the mouth
  • Abdominal discomfort due to enlarged spleen

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if the above symptoms last more than 10 days or if you have a sore throat that is unbearable for more than 2 days. It is also necessary to see a doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Headache feels very intense and accompanied by a feeling of stiffness in the neck
  • Swollen lymph nodes occur in many parts of the body
  • Stomach pain feels very bad

Diagnosis of Glandular Fever

For starters, the doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms and medical history. Furthermore, a physical examination will be carried out to see if there are any abnormalities, such as swollen lymph nodes and enlarged spleen.

To determine whether the patient has glandular fever, the doctor will do a blood test. Through a patient's blood sample, the presence of Epstein-Barr virus antibodies can be detected. Blood tests are also used to see if there are abnormalities or elevated levels of white blood cells.

Glandular Fever Treatment

Glandular fever usually clears up on its own within a few weeks. During this time, patients are advised to carry out independent treatment at home to relieve symptoms.

Treatments performed include:

  • Get enough rest
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Eat a balanced nutritious diet
  • Taking pain relievers, such as paracetamol

Please note, adequate rest will speed up the recovery process. Therefore, don't rush to do strenuous activities so that glandular fever doesn't recur.

Consult with your doctor about the right time to return to activities. Usually, sufferers take up to 3 months to recover completely.

Please note, glandular fever can interfere with liver function. Therefore, avoid consuming alcoholic beverages as long as you have not recovered from this disease, because alcohol will further interfere with liver function.

Glandular Fever Complications

Glandular fever is generally not classified as serious. However, some sufferers can get a secondary infection in the tonsils (tonsillitis) or sinuses (sinusitis). In rare cases, glandular fever can also cause the following complications:

  • Enlarged spleen to tear
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis
  • Hepatitis
  • A decrease in the number of blood cells so that they become less blood and bleed more easily
  • Obstruction of the respiratory tract due to enlarged tonsils
  • Nervous system disorders, eg meningitis, encephalitis and Guillain-Barre syndrome

Prevention of Glandular Fever

As explained above, glandular fever is transmitted through saliva. Therefore, prevention is to avoid contact with the patient's saliva. The way to do this is:

  • Don't kiss people showing symptoms of glandular fever.
  • Avoid sharing glasses, cutlery and toothbrushes with other people.
  • Make sure to always maintain personal hygiene, including washing your hands frequently.

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