Why Is Mono Called the Kissing Disease?

You’ve likely heard mono (medically known as mononucleosis) referred to as the “kissing disease” before, but do you know why that is? Mono is most commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is transmitted through bodily fluids, such as saliva. So, when you “swap spit” with someone who has mono, you’ll likely be getting more than you asked for.

Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team provides more helpful info on mono below, so keep reading!

What Exactly Is Mono?

Mononucleosis, or mono, can be caused by many different viruses, but like we said earlier, it’s most commonly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.

Although the symptoms of mononucleosis, which we’ve listed in the section below, are unpleasant, the infection is self-resolving and doesn’t typically have any long-term health complications.

Common Mono Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat, perhaps misdiagnosed as strep throat, that doesn’t get better after treatment with antibiotics
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Soft, swollen spleen

How Contagious Is Mono?

Mono is a highly contagious illness. In fact, the viruses that cause mono affect nearly 90% of people by the time they turn 35! Although many people who get the virus won’t experience symptoms and will merely be transmitters, many people who get the virus will experience symptoms.

Also, while it is true that mono spreads most commonly through kissing and sharing of saliva and personal items, it can spread through things like blood transfusions, coughing or sneezing and sexual contact, too. To prevent mono, stick to the suggestions that we’ve listed below.

Ways to Prevent Mono

  • Avoid close contact (kissing included) with people who are sick.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, since a healthy individual is better prepared to ward off any virus when exposed.
  • Eat a nutritional diet and get adequate sleep, which is between seven and nine hours each night.
  • Exercise for at least 150 minutes each week, which keeps the body fit and less likely to catch any viral illnesses.

Feeling less than your best? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team today to get the care you need to feel better!