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Infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever)

Infectious mononucleosis is…

…commonly known as glandular fever. It is also known as “the kissing disease”, “Pfeiffer’s disease” and “mono”.


The vast majority of cases of glandular fever are caused by a virus called the Epstein-Barr virus (or EBV). Many people are exposed to this virus and have no symptoms. Younger children tend to have a mild, cold-like illness. In adults, the virus tends to be more severe and prolonged. It generally starts with fatigue/drowsiness, malaise, headache and sore throat. Ensuing symptoms like fever, enlarged, swollen and frequently painful lymph nodes, and a sore throat, often with whitish-yellow patches covering the back of the throat subsequently occur. Other symptoms can include depression or loss of appetite, muscle aches or fatigue, a dry cough, dizziness, swelling around the eyes, chest pain, shortness of breath and shaking.

Read more about infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) in the factsheet for the general public.



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