What is glandular fever and how do I get it?

Glandular fever, also known as 'mono' or, to give it its full title, mononucleosis, is caused by a virus called Epstein-Barr which is a member of the herpes family of viruses. It is transmitted via bodily fluids, including spit and the microscopic droplets of water that we exhale. This means it can be transmitted by close contact of a non-sexual nature as well as by kissing or sex.

How do I prevent it?

Unless you never leave the house, you can't really prevent glandular fever. However, if you know someone who has the virus, avoiding close contact can help.

How do you know you've got it?

Its symptoms are body aches, a high temperature, sore throat, swollen glands and extreme tiredness. Although not a serious disease, it can sometimes be disabling and its symptoms can sometimes be confused with sero conversion in primary infection of HIV. If you have these symptoms your doctor may ask you to take a blood test so they can test for glandular fever.

How do I get it treated?

There is no treatment for glandular fever – apart from plenty of rest. Normally it clears up by itself after roughly four weeks, although at its worst it can recur for months.

LAST UPDATED: 09/01/2017