What you need to know about glandular fever in children
Glandular fever in children comes by a variety of names - infectious mononucleosis, the kissing disease, or simply, mono. Read what causes this illness...
Glandular fever in children comes by a variety of names - infectious mononucleosis, the kissing disease, or simply, mono. Whatever you call it, glandular fever is a virus that is spread through saliva.
Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Cytomegalovirus, a different virus, can cause similar symptoms. Once your child catches glandular fever, they are immune to the virus for life. Kids get glandular fever from the saliva of an infected person (hence its name ‘kissing disease'), usually when that person coughs or sneezes.
Glandular fever is usually not serious in kids. Most children who get glandular fever show few, if any, symptoms. In rare instances, glandular fever can result in an enlarged spleen, hepatitis or anaemia.
Glandular fever is not highly contagious, but the most likely ways kids can get glandular fever are from playing with toys that infected kids have also played with. Teach your kids to wash their hands thoroughly and often. You should also teach your kids not to share drinks or drink containers with other children.
The symptoms of glandular fever appear about four to six weeks after infection. Your child may have no symptoms or they may experience some or all of the following:
- Mild fever
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph glands
- A general feeling of malaise
To confirm a diagnosis of glandular fever, your doctor would have to do a blood test.
You can use paracetamol for the fever, sore throat, and body aches. Keep them comfortable and encourage rest and fluids. There is no need to keep your child away from other children - once they feel well enough to interact with others, they should be encouraged to do so.
Most people recover fully from glandular fever within a couple of weeks, but they may become easily tired for several weeks and sometimes for several months afterwards.
Call the doctor if your child doesn't seem to be getting better in a week or two.
5 facts you need to know about glandular fever in children:
- Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Glandular fever is also known as mono and the kissing disease.
- Glandular fever is usually not serious in children and you may never know your child has had it.
- You can help prevent glandular fever by teaching your kids to wash their hands.
- A glandular fever infection can last anywhere from a few weeks to months.
This article was republished with permission from KidSpot.