Glandular fever is an infectious disease that is transmitted through saliva which is why it is called the “kissing disease.” It can be transmitted through coughing or sneezing but not as contagious as the common cold. Glandular fever causes a pinkish rash all over the body and becomes severe if taking certain antibiotics.
Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The affected person remains contagious up to 18 months after first contact with the virus. It usually affects children below age 3 and young adults. Glandular fever is spread from person to person with direct contact with saliva of other people.
Symptoms of glandular fever
- Fever usually manifests in the afternoon
- Fatigue and drowsiness caused by high fever and infection
- Feeling unwell
- Headache and pain in the eye. Headache is usually felt in the occipital area of the head and the eyes are oftentimes swollen
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes and spleen
The symptoms can manifest 4-7 weeks after exposure to the virus. The affected person will remain contagious for a few weeks even after the symptoms have settled.
- Take plenty of sleep to strengthen the body to fight off the viral infection.
- After the symptoms begin, avoid contact sports or activities with high risk of falling due to the swollen spleen that is prone to damage.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter antihistamine to lessen the rashes.
- Gradually increase activities as the level of energy returns and avoid those that make the affected person uncomfortable.
- Take plenty of fluids especially water to prevent dehydration.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen to lessen the pain and fever.
- Gargle regularly a solution of warm salty water. In a glass of filled with warm water, mix 1 teaspoon of salt until dissolved and then gargle the solution to lessen the discomfort of a sore throat.