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Glandular Fever

Is glandular fever contagious?

SHORTCUTS Procedure Results FAQ
It is estimated that 95% of adults have been infected with EBV at some point. It can be symptom less, or present as mononucleosis ("mono"), or glandular fever.

Glandular fever is a viral infection, caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), appearing mostly in young adults and teenagers. It is also known as “mono” (infectious mononucleosis). The most marked symptom of glandular fever is severe fatigue, but also presents with fever, very sore throat, and swollen glands in the neck.

All of the symptoms except fatigue pass within the first month, but the tiredness can last for months. There are some potential complications of the infection, which is why you should ensure you have a proper diagnosis from a doctor who can monitor your condition.

The disease is found in the saliva of infected people, and thus can be spread through exposure to coughs or sneezes, or by sharing unwashed cutlery or glasses. Glandular fever is also sometimes referred to as “the kissing disease”, as it can be spread through kissing.


Preparing for test

Please arrive for this test well-hydrated, to make the procedure easier.

During the test

This test is a simple blood test. A needle is inserted into a vein, usually on the inner arm near the elbow, and a small amount of blood is drawn. You may feel a pricking or scratching sensation.

Type of sample taken:



Our doctor will call you with the explanation of results if you had a consultation at our clinic. If you came for blood test only without consultation we will email you the results and you can take them to your own doctor or book a consultation with us.


When is this test recommended?

This test will be ordered when you have symptoms that are characteristic of glandular fever, such as fever, headache, sore throat, swollen glands, and extreme fatigue, which cannot be explained any other way. This infection is more prevalent in teenagers and young adults. The doctor may also recommend this test if you have an existing autoimmune disease.

What do EBV and glandular fever have in common?

EBV, or the Epstein-Barr Virus, is the virus that causes glandular fever. The virus is present in the saliva of someone who has the infection. You can carry the virus for years without showing symptoms. Someone who has had an EBV infection as a child is more likely to develop glandular fever later in life.

Are there any links between Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and autoimmune disease?

Yes. Research has shown a strong correlation between being infected with EBV and developing certain autoimmune diseases, lupus and multiple sclerosis (MS) in particular, and possibly some cancers. The links however are not exactly clear.

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