10 Conditions You Can Catch From a Seemingly Innocent Kiss

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Don’t you love a good smooch? Especially that type of kiss that makes you feel so alive, the one that so many songs and fairytales are preaching. When it’s about a good, loving kiss, the world suddenly stops rotating, and nothing else even matters at the moment.

That’s only because you’re sharing a sweet kiss with someone, someone you really love and care about. Naturally, when it’s smooch time, the last thing on your mind is the thought of any contagious diseases you might get.

However, they’re still there, you know. contagious and stuff! The last thing on my mind is to scare you away from kissing, but I thought you might want to know what diseases you might get after a kiss:

Mononucleosis

If you didn’t know, mononucleosis is commonly known as “the kissing disease”, and it’s caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which thrives in fluids (such as saliva) and is easy to spread from an infected person during a kiss.

It usually affects young adults and it’s extremely contagious. Infections and other related symptoms might last from one to two months. The symptoms are also very similar to the ones of the flu, including fever, sore throat, fatigue, muscle weakness, and swollen lymph glands.

The symptoms are a bit self-limiting but they get better with time. There’s currently no treatment for mononucleosis, but drinking lots of water, resting, and taking medication might help.

Cytomegalovirus

This disease also spreads through saliva, but also through blood, urine, semen, and breast milk. Cytomegalovirus, short version CMV, is basically a virus that comes from the herpes family. And similar to other herpes viruses, it remains in a dormant state in the body for longer periods of time.

Some of its symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and in more severe cases pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and even visual impairment.

However, this virus has more profound effects on those patients who suffer from a weaker immune system, cancer, or even AIDS. People with a well-developed and healthy immune system rarely experience issues with it.

Gum disease

Gum disease is also called periodontitis or gingivitis. While it’s not exactly spread through kissing, it can still be caused by bad bacteria. For example, bacterial buildup around the teeth is the number one cause of gingivitis.

The main symptom of this disease is having red, puffy gums that bleed every time you brush your teeth. Even if it’s a non-destructive type of periodontal disease, people might generally refer to this as gum disease.

There are two types of gingivitis: you can either suffer from dental plaque-induced gingivitis, where the gingivitis occurs as the plaque buildup is irritating your gums, or from non-plaque-induced gingivitis, which results from bacterial, viral, and even fungal infections.

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Herpes

Herpes Simplex Virus 1 is one of the most annoying and uncomfortable things that once you get it, gets stuck in your body. It manifests through painful and inaesthetic blisters around your mouth, as long as you have an active oral herpes infection.

This injury is commonly called cold sores or fever blisters, but not everyone seems to understand that cold sores or fever blisters aren’t synonymous with oral herpes. Once you contracted oral herpes, it will stay with you forever.

Oral herpes is easily transmittable through direct contact between an infected spot and broken skin, or a mucous membrane. Don’t worry, there are so many people who don’t even know if they have it or not!

Meningitis

Meningitis is an extremely serious disease that is responsible for causing inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. This disease can be easily spread from one person to another via respiratory secretions.

One of the ways you can catch this illness is via the exchange of saliva during a smooth. In 2017, there were over 1000 deaths in Nigeria caused by a meningitis outbreak. Some of its symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, sensitivity to light, and even vomiting.

As there are no current medications against this disease, the best thing you can do is to stay healthy and maintain a good and strong immune system to keep it at bay. Who knew a kiss could be so dangerous, right?

Mumps

Mumps is a viral infection that affects saliva-producing glands located near your ears. This disease can also cause swelling in one or both of these glands. Until mumps vaccination became a thing, it was a very common disease in the United States.

Even so, mumps outbreaks might still occur in America, as the number of cases has continuously increased in the last few years. There are some people who are infected with the virus and have no signs whatsoever, while others have very mild ones. When signs appear, they usually do after two to three weeks after exposure.

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Rubella

Rubella, which is also known as German measles, is an illness caused by the rubella virus. While it’s usually a mild illness, it can get very serious if pregnant women and their developing babies catch it. If a pregnant woman gets rubella, she might have either a miscarriage or a stillbirth.

Rubella spreads by contact with saliva or mucus in the mouth, throat, or nose of someone who’s already infected. Sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, or kissing someone who’s already sick and has the virus can put you at risk. Its symptoms include having a sudden rash, fever, joint aches, headache, discomfort, runny nose, and even irritated eyes.

Influenza

Influenza can spread easily via droplets from an already infected person who coughs, sneezes, talks, or….kisses you. Some of its symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and tiredness. However, it’s not an extremely serious disease, as most of the people who have been affected by influenza usually recover on their own in less than two weeks.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a very infectious disease of the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Only in the United States, there are around 2.4 million Americans who are suffering from this infection, it’s the most common blood-borne infection and 1% of the adult population has it. Hepatitis C is typically spread through contact with infected blood or passed from mother to baby during pregnancy.

Occasionally, it can be spread via intercourse or kissing. The course of an HCV infection is extremely unpredictable, as the virus can suddenly disappear in some people, while in others it can be rather persistent. In a third scenario, it can advance to a life-threatening illness in others. Treatment is extremely mandatory the minute a person shows signs of liver inflammation.

Hepatitis B 

Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by the same virus. There are over 400 million people who suffer from chronic Hepatitis B. There are three types of hepatitis B infections:

  • healthy chronic carriers of hepatitis B – this infection isn’t contagious, and even if there’s a slight risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer, in most cases, people who have it live a normal life.
  • chronic infectious hepatitis B – this infection is highly contagious, and it might lead to a very inflamed and damaged liver, even when there are no symptoms.
  • chronic mutant hepatitis B – this version is from a mutated strain of the virus, that has a permanent alteration of the hepatitis B virus’s genetic makeup.

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