It occurs most frequently in the age group between five and twelve years of age, but may also apply to older and younger. It also happens in adults, but rarely exceeds the limits of thirty years. There have been isolated cases of less than six months.
It is caused by primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Infection occurs through direct contact with a sick person or a carrier that releases the virus in saliva, (in various studies is therefore called the “kissing disease”). However, the cause of this infection may be a blood transfusion or organ transplant (mostly bone). Most cases occur during autumn and spring. Frequently happens in clusters, ie children in kindergartens, schools, and dormitories.
One of the most common symptoms as children, and adults, is an inflammation of the throat and almond palatal, which is the main reason for referral of patients to the hospital. The period from the time of infection until the development of the disease can be up to seven weeks. It most often begins nonspecifically. The child begins to complain of headache, malaise, loss of appetite. Then there is fever, which is usually thirty-eight – thirty nine degrees Celsius. It has been mostly from two days to a month or longer. Shortly before, during, rarely occurs after the fall generalized lymph node enlargement, especially in the neck and the back of the head (the so-called occipital), which is the most points the parents. Sometimes it is so large that believe that this is a pig.
Complications are rare, but can be dramatic. Is common asymptomatic hepatitis. There may be changes in hematology, myocarditis, encephalitis and meningitis, nephritis, interstitial pneumonia. In the course of glandular fever described the band “Alice in Wonderland”, characterized by metamorpasis (impression of changes in the size, shape and position of objects in space).
There is no specific treatment. The disease can be treated only symptomatically: bed rest, analgesics, antipyretics, a diet rich in vitamins. In cases of severe respirators obstruction, thrombocytopenia or neurological complications applied corticosteroids. There is no vaccine against the disease. The disease leaves a lasting immunity.
Currently, there is no cure for glandular fever. However, the symptoms can be controlled:
Rest. Patients recover more quickly if they are able to get a complete rest in the first months after the onset of symptoms. In fact, the rest is sometimes the only option, because you are too tired and felt too ill to go about his business daily.
The National Health Service (NHS), UK, tells patients to some light exercise after symptoms have increased, in order to regain muscle strength.
Food. Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially if it is a fever. If the sore throat symptoms are severe, the infected person does not want to drink – he / she should be carefully monitored to ensure that fluid intake is adequate.
Pain. Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen which can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) can help reduce fever and relieves pain. Patients under 16 years of age must not be given aspirin.
Gargling. Pharmacists may be able to help you choose the right solution for rinsing. Some patients find that gargling with salt water helps sore throat symptoms.
Antibiotics. Glandular fever is caused by virus, bacteria do not. Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria. However, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.
Steroids. If inflammation of the tonsils are very short course of steroids may be prescribed.