possible causes Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) or another viral infection is the most likely cause, particularly in young people. However, persistent lumps or swellings may be due to diseases affecting the immune system, such as cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma) or an AIDS-related illness.

action Your doctor will examine you and arrange for a blood test. There is no specific treatment for glandular fever, but it will clear up on its own. If your doctor suspects another cause, he or she may refer you to hospital for further tests.

Do you have a sore throat?

consult your doctor if you are unable to make a diagnosis from this chart.

Go to chart 88 Sore throat (p.195)

Possible cause and action One of several viral infections, including rubella, may be the cause. Consult your doctor if you are no better in 2 days. If you are pregnant or have been in contact with a pregnant woman, see your doctor within 24 hours to have the diagnosis confirmed; rubella can harm a developing fetus.


For itching confined to the scalp, see chart 76, Hair and scalp problems (p.176). For itching confined to the anus, see chart 107, Anal problems (p.223). Itching (irritation of the skin that leads to an intense desire to scratch) may be caused by an infection or by an allergic reaction to a particular substance. In other cases, itching can be a feature of a skin disorder or may even indicate an underlying disease or psychological stress. Loss of natural oils in the skin as a result of aging or from excessive washing may cause dryness and itching of the skin.

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