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Glandular Fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection, most commonly seen in late adolescence and early adult life. But it can also occur in children in the upper end of this age group.

Signs and symptoms of glandular fever

There are two distinct forms of glandular fever, both with similar symptoms In one form the illness is acute, but short-lived, while in the other the initial symptoms are less severe, but the disease drags on for several weeks.

1 The acute onset type will start with a very sore throat and a fever which is characteristically lower in the mornings, but rises as the day goes on. Glands all over the body, noticeably in the neck, armpits and groins. will become enlarged. In slightly less than a quarter of children with glandular fever there is also a rash over the chest and back; this occurs within the first week of the illness. In addition, the child will feel very unwell. The symptoms persist for a couple of weeks, but convalescence and recovery following this time is usually quick and complete.

2 With the less acute onset of the illness, again there will be a sore throat and enlargement of the lymphatic glands. But the throat will not be so extremely sore, and the fever will not be so high. The casualty will not feel so ill, but he will continue to feel vaguely unwell for several weeks, become readily tired on any extra exertion, and may feel depressed and irritable for several weeks.

Treatment for glandular fever

There is no specific treatment for glandular fever. Initially a few days rest in bed are advisable. Plenty of fluids, a nourishing, light diet that is easy to swallow, and plenty of loving attention is all that can be done. Return to school will depend on how the young patient is feeling. Probably this should be in gradual stages: half days for a week or so, with extra work to be done quietly at home is a good idea if fatigue is a problem. Complications rarely occur following glandular fever.

While glandular fever is not a serious disease, it can greatly disrupt school work and, being more common in the middle to late teenage years, exams - or preparation for exams - can be upset. Fortunately. glandular fever is not very infective, so epidemics of the condition are rare.

     
     

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