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Glandular fever treatments

There is no specific treatment for glandular fever. It is a viral illness, so antibiotics do not work (they work only against bacterial infections).

The main treatment is to get plenty of rest, look after yourself and drink plenty of fluids. Painkillers such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help to relieve pain and fever. Children under the age of 16 years should not take aspirin, because it may cause a serious condition called Reye's syndrome.

People with glandular fever should avoid contact sports, vigorous activities and heavy lifting while unwell to reduce the risk of rupturing their spleen.

Most people recover from glandular fever after a week or two, but in some people tiredness and swollen lymph nodes can persist for several weeks. Some people may not fully recover for a few months.

A person who has had glandular fever usually becomes immune to it for the rest of their lives, so a second bout of it is unlikely.

Last reviewed: May 2017

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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