Usually symptoms of glandular fever appear 4–6 weeks after you get infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms may develop slowly and may not all occur at the same time.
- Tiredness – a feeling of intense tiredness often develops with glandular fever.
- Sore throat – although this may be mild, your throat is usually very sore, red and swollen. Glandular fever is typically suspected when tonsillitis is severe and lasts longer than usual. Swallowing is often painful and saliva may pool in your mouth.
- Flu-like symptoms – like other viral infections, glandular fever often causes a high temperature (fever), muscle aches and headaches. It can make you feel quite unwell.
- Swollen glands around your neck – as your body's immune system fights off the virus it causes your lymph glands to swell. Any lymph gland in your body can be affected. However, the glands in your neck are usually the most prominent. They can become quite large and tender.
- Swelling around your eyes – about 1 in 5 people with glandular fever become quite puffy and swollen around the eyes. This goes in a short time.
Not everyone infected with the virus gets symptoms and many people have had glandular fever at some time without knowing. Most people get better in 2–4 weeks, but some people may feel tired for several more weeks. Occasionally, the symptoms of glandular fever can last for 6 months or more.