Learn about the causes of Glandular Fever & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Glandular Fever within New Zealand.
Glandular Fever is a contagious viral infection that causes swollen lymph nodes (the glands or lumps that can be felt in the neck, armpits and groin). Glandular fever is caused by a virus passed on through saliva or intimate contact (it is often called the kissing disease). Often the person passing on the virus may not display symptoms of glandular fever but symptoms can include fever, weakness, sore throat, swollen glands, muscle soreness, headache, rashes, enlarged liver or spleen
The majority of cases of glandular fever are caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is a common virus which infects humans during childhood. Usually there are no symptoms and the virus remains dormant in the throat and blood cells for life.
If a person is infected with EBV during adolescence or early adulthood, there is an increased risk that glandular fever will develop.
The Epstein-Barr virus can be passed from person to person through close contact with infected saliva and without immunity it will infect the cells in the throat lining. The infection then passes to the lymphocytes (white blood cells) and then spreads to the lymph nodes, spleen and liver.
Other causes of glandular fever include Cytomegalovirus, Rubella and Toxoplasmosis
Glandular fever symptoms typically appear 4-7 weeks after infection but can begin earlier in young children.
Symptoms of glandular fever include:
A sore throat, fever and headache should ease after two weeks but swollen glands and fatigue can persist for weeks or even months.
If the infection spreads to the liver then jaundice can occur. Jaundice leads to a yellowing of the skin and eyes. The liver can also become inflamed (known as hepatitis) and cause nausea, appetite loss and alcohol intolerance. Recovery from glandular fever will cause the symptoms of jaundice and hepatitis to pass.
If you suspect glandular fever then visit your GP who will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and a physical examination. The GP will check for the signs of glandular fever such as swollen glands, tonsils, liver and spleen.
If necessary, the GP will refer you for blood tests to check for antibodies which get released when the Epstein-Barr virus is present. The blood test will also confirm your white blood cell count which if high indicates the presence of infection.
The GP will also test for conditions such as rubella and toxoplasmosis if you're pregnant.