What is the Kissing Disease? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

The kissing disease is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It manifests itself with symptoms such as fever, sore throat and fatigue. Treatment is supportive.

Kissing disease, medically known as infectious mononucleosis, is an infectious disease usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It got its name “kissing disease” because the virus can be easily transmitted through saliva. It is more common among young adults and adolescents, but can affect people of all age groups.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of kissing disease vary from person to person and can sometimes be very mild. Typical symptoms include high fever, sore throat, large and tender lymph nodes, fatigue, loss of appetite and headache. In some cases, spleen enlargement and liver inflammation may also be observed. Symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few weeks, but fatigue may last longer.

Causes and How Is It Transmitted?

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the main cause of kissing disease and belongs to the Herpesviridae family. The virus is transmitted through the saliva of infected people. Therefore, direct saliva contact, such as kissing or sharing the same glass or food, can lead to disease transmission. EBV can also remain active in the saliva of infected people for weeks or even months, causing the virus to spread easily and widely.

The diagnosis of kissing disease is usually made by symptoms and physical examination findings. Blood tests, especially heterophile antibody testing, can be used to confirm the diagnosis. When it comes to treatment, there is no specific treatment for kissing disease; Treatment is generally supportive. Painkillers and antipyretics can be used for fever and sore throat. The patient should drink plenty of fluids and get enough rest.

The best way to prevent kissing disease is to limit close contact with infected people. Personal hygiene measures should be taken to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. Additionally, after being infected with EBV, the virus can persist in a person’s saliva for a long time; Therefore, caution should be exercised about sharing personal items even after recovery. Once recovery from the disease is complete, most people acquire lifelong immunity, but in some cases the virus can remain latent in the body and become active again when the immune system is weakened.

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