Glandular fever which is also known as the kissing disease or ‘Mono’ to Americans, is one of the hardest viruses for a person to get over. It normally begins as a sore throat or swollen glands in the arm pits and groin. It tends to get worse very quickly forming a high temperature and extreme tiredness.
Some people who suffer with this horrific virus can’t even get out of bed or go to the toilet as it takes up too much energy. In addition, sufferers tend to get trapped in a vicious circle, finding it hard to eat because they feel too unwell and not taking in enough food to create energy. Sometimes glandular fever can develop into a more serious illness for example, tonsillitis and even infections of the lymph nodes.
Glandular Fever is caused by the ‘Epstein-Bar Virus’. It is spread by saliva and if the person who comes into contact with this virus is resistant then there will be no illness. If the person who comes into contact with the infected saliva is not resistant then they will suffer with the side effects of Glandular Fever. The virus begins by attacking and infecting the cells in the throat which in turn causes the throat to become sore and swollen. People who still have their tonsils will find that the infection does spread and cause tonsillitis. Once the infection is in the throat cells it gets passes onto the white blood cell known as ‘B lymphocytes’ which are part of the body’s immune system. Once the infection has penetrated the B lymphocytes, it then spreads throughout the lymphatic system which consists of the lymph nodes found in the groin and arm pits. Once these become infected with the virus, the side effect of swollen lymph nodes becomes present. In some of the worst cases of Glandular Fever, the infection passes through the lymphatic system and goes to the Spleen which is the organ located in the left upper quadrant of the body. It is an organ which produces anti-bodies which fight infection within the body. If the spleen does become infected it can swell and cause severe pain. This Is quite rare for people who are infected by the virus but can happen.
There is very little a person suffering from this illness can do. As it is a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics of other medicines. However, if the infection is bad the doctor can prescribe a short course of steroids to help reduce the inflammation. There is no miracle cure for this unfortunate virus however, preventative measures can be put in place to help protect yourself from catching the virus and passing it on. Things such as; not sharing drinks, not sharing anything that you have put lips round and not sharing anything that has been contaminated with another person or an infected persons saliva. These will all help with preventing you from catching the virus. If you already have the virus then eating well and remaining healthy is the best way for the virus not to rear its ugly head. Once the infected person has had the symptoms then unfortunately it can come back as many times as it wants to. One can never really get rid of the virus just learn to live with it and prevent the symptoms from forming.
It is not a very nice virus to have however, it can be prevented.