Glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein Barr virus. It most commonly affects teenagers and young people of both sexes.
It is impossible to eradicate this virus, so it is important to improve the health of populations so the human immune system can easily cope with this mostly minor infection.
Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fatigue, abdominal pain, fever, sore throat, muscle soreness and swollen lymph glands, and occasionally a swollen spleen or liver may develop. Petechial haemorrhages, headaches, depression, dizziness, shaking, cough or orbital swelling may also occur.
Rarely, heart problems or central nervous system symptoms are seen, but infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal. Also, rarely, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can develop after glandular fever.
The prodromal or incubation period for glandular fever is about two weeks, and unfortunately, it can take up to two months to recover fully from this infection, and it is possible that relapses may occur for some time after the initial infection.
Glandular fever is sometimes called the “kissing disease” as the EBV virus is spread via saliva. However, it can also be spread by poor sanitation and close living arrangements, when the virus will spread at a much earlier age, when the disease is mild and seldom diagnosed.
Glandular fever is often more pronounced in people who have major psychological stress in their medical history.
If you are worried, go and see your doctor who will conduct a Paul Bunnell Test
The first serological test described for infectious mononucleosis was the heterophile antibody assay developed by Paul and Bunnell. An antigen of the Ebstein Barr virus is similar (shares epitopes) to antigens on the cells of a number of animals (but not man). Following infection, 85-90% of patients with EBV infection produce heterophile antibodies which can be detected by the Paul Bunnell test.
Like all acute illness, glandular fever is self limiting and you will recover without treatment.
However, if you do unfortunately suffer a severe bout, they your doctor will prescribe an array of non steroidal or steroid preparations. Your doctor will not prescribe antibacterial medication as these are ineffective against virus’, though if you have a secondary infection, it is just possible you will be prescribed these tablets.
Homeopathy has a large selection of remedies that may assist your recovery, and your homeopathic practitioner will ask you a full range of questions about your unique experience with glandular fever and your particular cluster of symptoms.
Your homeopath will also ask you about the circumstances of your life up to the point when you became ill, and will also take into account any relevant factors, such as social circumstances, relevant stressors and your usual level of health and the state of your immune system.
Homeopathy may also be of great benefit if you do unfortunately get complications from glandular fever, and it has often been of great benefit for people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.