Infectious mononucleosis (IM/mono), also known as glandular fever, is a mainly benign infection commonly caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), coming from the same family as the herpes virus. It is transmitted by saliva, which is why it has also come to be referred to as the “kissing disease”.
Who can contract glandular fever?
Glandular fever mainly affects adolescents and young adults, but it can go unnoticed in young children. The presence of the virus in the body doesn’t necessarily lead to symptoms. Some people can be in good health while being carriers of the Epstein-Barr virus in their saliva.
What are the symptoms of glandular fever?
The incubation period for glandular fever is between one and one and a half months. The virus spreads in the mouth, then to the throat and then to the glands, next spreading into the blood.
Here are the first characteristic signs of glandular fever, or “mono”:
- ongoing muscle pains
- intense fatigue from the moment of waking up
- skin breakouts
- sore throat
- loss of appetite
- high fever which can last up to 2 weeks
- more rarely, headaches and inflamed glands below the lower jaw and behind the ears
How can you treat glandular fever?
Glandular fever is a benign viral infection and does not require any specific treatment, as it will heal by itself over time. The illness should disappear after 6 weeks, but the pain and intense fatigue can persist for several months. Your doctor can prescribe painkillers to relieve the symptoms. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary to prevent a possible bacterial infection.
Green tea: a natural antiviral
Green tea has natural antiviral properties that fight against the herpes family, which includes the Epstein-Barr virus. Several studies have shown that the molecules in green tea, called catechins, inhibit the replication of the Epstein-Barr virus. Leave the green tea to infuse for at least 10 minutes before drinking it.
Propolis is a substance produced by bees to protect the hive against viruses and bacteria. It has been used since ancient times to fight disease. It can fight against the herpes virus family. Additionally, several studies have shown that the components of propolis limit the replication of the Epstein-Barr virus. Furthermore, its antiseptic properties help relieve sore throats, one of the first symptoms of the illness.