The month of love is here and you’re finally ready to confess your feelings to your crush, flowers and chocolate in hand screen lock. But before you pucker up, consider mono, also known as the kissing disease.
Eww, right? No-one wants to think about germs and disease when kissing, but unfortunately, swapping spit can come with complications. Infectious mononucleosis (mono) known as the kissing disease, is a group of symptoms caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The Epstein-Barr virus is a member of the herpes virus family. The bad news? If you’re between the ages of 15 and 30, you are more likely to get the kissing disease, so open your eyes to these facts.
Strains of the herpes virus can show a variety of symptoms. Ask one of our doctors if you’re worried that you might have the disease.
Signs of mono
If you have mono, and you’re taking an antibiotic like amoxicillin or ampicillin, you may develop a rash. In fact, this is one way that mono is often diagnosed. It’s not an allergic reaction, but a reaction specific to mono, of which the exact cause is still unclear. Other symptoms of active mono infection include:
- A fever.
- A sore throat.
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck and armpits.
- A headache.
- Muscle weakness.
- Swollen tonsils.
- Night sweats.
Mono is nearly impossible to prevent because the disease is spread through direct contact with saliva from the mouth of an infected person. You can be exposed to the virus by a cough or sneeze, by kissing, or by sharing food or drinks with someone who has mono.
Healthy people who have been infected with EBV in the past can carry and spread the infection periodically for the rest of their lives as it can become active again with no symptoms.
Although dodging this disease is tricky, there are precautions you can take.
Give the French kiss a miss When you’re into someone, it’s difficult to give them just a quick peck on the lips and walk away. Still, if your loved one is infected with mono, it’s best to avoid kisses involving saliva until their mono becomes inactive.
Not sharing is caring Sure, it’s cute to feed your date some of your meal and split a dessert like you’re in a rom com, but this is another way to catch mono. Avoid sharing dishes or eating utensils with anyone who has mono, as it could have traces of saliva.
Cure the kissing If you are unsure about your symptoms, a blood test can confirm whether or not you’ve contracted the kissing disease.
The incubation period of the virus is the time between when you contract the infection and when you start having symptoms. It lasts about four to six weeks. The signs and symptoms of mono could last for one to two months.
- Bed rest.
- OTC (over-the-counter) medication to help ease fever and pain.
- Staying hydrated.
- Gargling with salt water for a sore throat.
Make out stakeout
Yes, we all know kissing is fun, but diseases like mono aren’t. Take a break from mooning over your crush and consider your health before locking lips.
- Talk to your potential kissing partner about diseases like mono and ask respectfully if they have contracted anything. You have the right to know.
- Think carefully about starting any intimate relationship with someone who has mono.
- If you have mono, consider others and don’t keep the disease a secret.
- Although you can’t be completely cured of mono, you can only experience the symptoms once in a lifetime if you lead a healthy life with exercise and healthy eating habits.