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Glandular fever can be transmitted through kissing.

Glandular fever can be transmitted through kissing.
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Glandular fever

Glandular fever (also called infectious mononucleosis) is an infectious disease which is common in teenagers and young adults.

Glandular fever is caused by an infection with Epstein-Barr virus.

The virus is transmitted through saliva, and can be passed from person to person through:

  • kissing (which is why it is sometimes known as the "kissing disease")
  • coughing and sneezing, which spread the virus in airborne droplets
  • sharing eating and drinking equipment like cups, glasses and eating utensils.

It takes 30 to 50 days from the time of infection for glandular fever to develop. A person with glandular fever is contagious for months after the infection so it’s important to follow good hygiene so others don't get infected.

Symptoms can come on gradually, and at first there may be just tiredness and lack of energy. A sore throat, swollen glands (particularly in the neck) and a rash may occur. Upper abdominal pain can occur from a swollen liver or spleen. Glandular fever symptoms can last weeks to months, especially fatigue and lack of energy.

More information

There are a number of resources and services available if you need help or more information on glandular fever:

Last reviewed: May 2017

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Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis mostly affects teenagers and young adults. The disease is spread through saliva and can cause fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Illness usually lasts between one week and several weeks. People with infectious mononucleosis should avoid kissing others, regularly wash their hand and not share drink containers.

Read more on NSW Health website

Glandular fever - myDr.com.au

Find out about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) - sometimes called the kissing disease.

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Kids' Health - Topics - Glandular fever

Glandular fever, or Infectious Mononucleosis (say in-fex-shus mono-new-klee-o-sis), 'mono' for short, is caused by a virus. The virus is called the Epstein-Barr virus after the two medical researchers who first discovered it.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

Glandular fever is an infection caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV). It is also called Infectious Mononucleosis and sometimes the Kissing Disease. Once a person catches Epstein Barr virus, it is believed that the virus remains in his or her body for life, though it usually does not cause further illness. By adulthood, 90 to 95% of people in Australia have been infected with EBV.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Glandular fever: children & teenagers | Raising Children Network

Glandular fever is a viral illness mostly affecting older children and teenagers. Symptoms include sore throat, fatigue and swollen neck glands. See a GP.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Glandular fever - including symptoms, treatment and prevention :: SA Health

Glandular fever - caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) - spread from person-to-person by saliva and stays for life usually with no further illness

Read more on SA Health website

Young Adult Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

If you have a very sore throat, swollen glands in your neck or in other parts of your body, and if you have been feeling very tired and unwell, you may have glandular fever. Go to your doctor to get it checked out.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Teen Health - Health Topics - Glandular fever

If you have a very sore throat, swollen glands in your neck or in other parts of your body, and if you have been feeling very tired and unwell, you may have glandular fever. Go to your doctor to get it checked out.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Glandular Fever

Read more on Queensland Health website

IM screening test - Lab Tests Online AU

The Monospot test detects heterophileantibodies. "Heterophile" antibodies are antibodies that react with the cells of other species of animals. The antibodies are made in response to an infection by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and, much less commonly, in response to some other viruses or non-infectious conditions.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

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