What Is Glandular Fever (And Is It Different Than Mono)?

Referred to as "mono" for short, infectious mononucleosis — which is also known as glandular fever — is a condition that can develop from infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), according to NHS Inform. The condition caught public attention in 2002 when media outlet Mirror Newspaper Group reported that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, had been diagnosed with the viral infection that year, referring to it as the "kissing disease" (via Page Six). At the time, Prince Harry described the feelings of shame and isolation he had felt as a result of the report. The incident was recalled today as he testifies against the publisher in court.

Transferred through contaminated saliva, one can become infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) through kissing, contact with cough or sneeze particles, or through the sharing of silverware or drinking utensils with others. Most often seen in adolescents or young adults, symptoms frequently include a high fever, severe sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue.

Is there a cure for glandular fever?

Although there is no way to cure glandular fever, there are at-home remedies one can utilize to help reduce the discomfort. This includes keeping yourself adequately hydrated, taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relief medications, and allowing for plenty of rest. Symptoms generally subside within two to three weeks' time. In some instances, fatigue may linger for months. However, there are cases in which one should seek immediate medical treatment for glandular fever. If a person experiences accompanying symptoms such as trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing liquids, or extreme abdominal pain, be sure to call for emergency services.

Blood testing, along with a physical exam, can be used to formally diagnose the condition. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have glandular fever, it's important to see your physician. Although rare, untreated cases can lead to severe anemia, spleen rupture, or spreading of the infection to the brain, lungs, and liver. Routine hand-washing and refraining from kissing those who may be infected can help protect against viral transfer.