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Recognising glandular fever amid diagnostic complications

Suneeta Kochhar presents a checklist for identifying and treating this condition

Approximately 95% of adults worldwide are infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a member of the human herpes virus family.1

The infection is usually asymptomatic, but some may develop the clinical syndrome of infectious mononucleosis (IM) or glandular fever, which is usually a self-limiting illness.1 IM has an increased incidence between 15-24 years.2 IM is more likely to affect those who acquire primary EBV in their teenage years. In young adults, the rate of developing IM from primary EBV infection is estimated at 50%.1 A GP practice with a list size of 10,000 patients may expect to see 7 people with glandular fever each year.2

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