5 facts about 'The Kissing Disease' or deep kissing with tongue



 
You decided where you're going to go to college, and you've been duly warned about the dreaded 15 pounds Freshman weight gain thing. But did you know up to one in four college freshmen get mono?

1. Yes, kissing spreads it
People pass the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mono) through saliva, often during hookups that involve, as docs say, "deep kissing with tongue." Sex won't up your odds of catching it, a new study found.

2. Who gave it to me?
It can take four to six weeks after exposure to feel symptoms, so you may never know whose saliva (or which beer-pong cup) is to blame. Healthy again? Wait at least four to kiss anyone.

3. When should I see a doc?
Get a blood test if you feel any of these for a week or longer: fever, sore throat, I'm-huffing-and-puffing-just-walking-to-class exhaustion, or swollen lymph nodes.

4. How is it treated?
There's no magic pill for mono antibiotics don't work on viruses. You can help your body fight off the infection by sleeping as much as possible, drinking water and juice, and eating fruits, veggies, and protein.

5. It does go away
You may feel like crap for weeks, even months, and should avoid booze and sports (your liver and spleen may be swollen). When you're better, you're done; mono doesn't pop back up when you're run-down.

SOURCES: HANK BALFOUR, MD, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA MEDICAL SCHOOL; ANGELA U. TUCKER, MD, CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
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