Are you aged between 10 and 25? Do you come into close contact with other 10-25-year-olds? If so, you are most at risk of coming down with glandular fever.
What is it?
An infectious disease, caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which affects the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin. The infection is transferred from one person to another in saliva so you can, of course, get it from snogging, but the disease also spreads via airborne droplets.
How will I know?
The disease is characterised by swollen and sore lymph nodes, fever, extreme fatigue, muscular pains, headache and a sore throat with swollen tonsils heavily covered by a white coating. There is sometimes a rash. You might not feel dodgy straight after the fateful kiss, however: the incubation period from infection to the appearance of symptoms is 30-50 days.
Is there a test?
Yes - take a blood test. The fever is diagnosed by the presence of large numbers of monocytes (a type of white blood cell) in your blood.
What's the treatment?
There is no remedy as such, just ways of easing the symptoms: hot drinks to soothe a sore throat, fluids to help with the fever, plus a lot of good, old- fashioned rest.
Am I going to die?
Probably not. The illness usually passes after two to four weeks without serious problems. But in more severe cases, the liver may become enlarged and jaundice may develop. Or your spleen may rupture. Or you may develop complications such as meningitis or encephalitis. The good news is that after having the disease, you will be immune to it.