Kissing is a universally loved act. Everyone craves a kiss that leaves you breathless and needing more. When the kiss is so good, it feels like nothing else matters around you, and the world is floating. That is because when you share a kiss with someone, a hormone called dopamine gets released, which makes you feel good.
But imagine hearing something that feels that good can also spread diseases. It changes everything. Unfortunately, infections can spread through human saliva.
We have compiled a list of infectious diseases you can get from kissing. Keep reading.
It is commonly referred to as “the kissing disease” because it is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which thrives in fluids such as saliva and can be easily spread from an infected person’s saliva when kissing. The infection and related symptoms last from one to two months. Symptoms include a fever, sore throat, fatigue, muscle weakness, and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms are usually self-limiting and improve over time. Mononucleosis has no cure, but staying hydrated, resting, and taking medication can help.
When one has an active oral herpes infection, the virus Herpes Simplex Virus 1 causes blistering on the lips and around the mouth. These lesions are commonly referred to as cold sores or fever blisters; not everyone realises they are synonymous with oral herpes.
Once you have oral herpes, it stays with you for the rest of your life. Oral herpes is spread through direct contact between an infected area and broken skin or a mucous membrane. Many people with oral herpes are unaware of their infection and may unknowingly pass it on to a partner while kissing.
This disease spreads through saliva, blood, urine, sperm, and breast milk. The Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpes virus. Like all herpes viruses, it can lay dormant in the body for long periods. Fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and, in more severe cases, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and visual impairment are all possible symptoms.
This is a severe disease that causes brain and spinal cord lining inflammation. This disease can be passed from person to person through respiratory secretions. The exchange of saliva while kissing is one way for the illness to be passed on to someone else. During the meningitis outbreak in Nigeria in 2017, over 1000 people died. Fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, light sensitivity, and vomiting are some of the symptoms. This disease has no cure, but staying healthy and having a robust immune system can help you beat it.
This viral disease affects the salivary glands and causes them to swell. Common symptoms include headache, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
This disease spreads through droplets produced when people with the flu cough, sneeze or speak. Some symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. The majority of people recover on their own within two weeks.
Syphilis is an STI spread through direct contact with a syphilis sore. These sores can appear on the genitals, the lips, or the mouth. Syphilis can also be passed on to a child during pregnancy.
As syphilis progresses, symptoms worsen. Initially, a person’s sores are round, firm, and painless. These usually heal on their own in 3-6 weeks.
A rough, reddish-brown rash may develop later, appearing on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or both. Because the rash may not itch, a person may not notice it immediately.
While it might be shocking that you can contract such diseases from kissing, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on kissing. Kissing still has some health benefits that are good for the body, such as; stress reduction, emotional bonding, and metabolic boost.
You can contact any of our doctors if you have complaints or further concerns.