Glandular fever: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:An acute febrile illness of young adults caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the Herpesviridae family; frequently spread by saliva transfer; characterized by fever, sore throat, enlargement of lymph nodes and spleen, and leukopenia that changes to lymphocytosis during the second week; the circulating blood usually contains abnormal, large T lymphocytes that resemble monocytes even though B cells are infected, and there is heterophil antibody that may be completely adsorbed on beef erythrocytes, but not on guinea pig kidney antigen. Collections of the characteristic abnormal lymphocytes may be present not only in the lymph nodes and spleen, but in various other sites, such as the meninges, brain, and myocardium.The cause of glandular fever is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The most common way of spreading the virus is through the transmission of saliva from one person to another. Coughing, sneezing, and sharing drink bottles, eating utensils and other personal items can also spread the virus. In addition, the virus can also be spread through blood transfusion and organ transplantation.Young people aged between 10 and 25 years are most vulnerable to this infection. The treatment is to ease the symptoms, and the illness usually passes without serious problems.Person to person spread occurs most often by the oropharyngeal route, via saliva. Kissing often facilitates spread among young people. Close contact is generally required to transmit infection.15 - 20% or more of EBV antibody positive healthy adults are long term oropharyngeal carriers.To prevent spread, avoid kissing and close body contact with other people whilst you are ill. Don't share cups, towels, etc, whilst you are ill. Don't play rough or contact sports for eight weeks. See a doctor if any unusual, severe, or unexplained symptoms develop.The vast majority of people with glandular fever can expect a full recovery. It is very rare to have it again.Symptoms:It is possible to become infected with this virus and to develop no symptoms. This is referred to as a subclinical infection.
Before the disease breaks out, one to two weeks may pass with symptoms that are similar to those of flu.
A sore throat, with swollen tonsils that are heavily covered by a white coating.
In 20 percent of cases: swelling and puffiness may develop around the eyes, settling after one to two days.
Tendency to sweat.
Like the lymph glands, your spleen is part of the immune system and can become swollen. If this occurs, it can sometimes be felt below the ribs on the left-hand side of the abdomen and may occasionally cause mild pain.
Swollen and sore lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and the groin.
The liver may become enlarged and yellow jaundice may develop.
There may be a non-itchy widespread, red rash that quickly disappears.
Diagnosis:The diagnosis of glandular fever is based on yourphysical symptoms, and will include a blood test and a throat swab. Yourdoctor will perform a blood test to determine abnormalities in the white bloodcells. A throat swab will help determine if you have glandular fever.Treatment:There is no specific treatment for glandular fever and it is generally symptomatic. Rest and sleep are recommended, as well as drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.Fever and pain can be treated with pain killers such as nonsteroidal, antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Recovery usually takes about two weeks and complementary and supportive treatments such as acupuncture and massage can help to improve immune function and congestion of the liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.Herbs such as Viscum album and Echinacea purpurea can also strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation and encouraging repair of damaged cells, while research has suggested that Olea europea may help to fight against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), while Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabr) are used in acute conditions to boost immunity and soothe the throat.Homeopathic ingredients can also assist in treatment and recovery. Belladonna can help to address the early stages of mononucleosis with the sudden onset of fever, while Ferrum phosphoricum can treat fever accompanied by a painful cough and sore chest. Kali muriaticum is a good choice to address extremely swollen tonsils. Remember to always source herbal and homeopathic remedies from a reputable company, as therapeutic dosage and ingredient quality are important when using natural medicines.NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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