Kissing Disease (Mono)

Kissing is one pleasurable thing that cannot be thrown in a trash can come what may happen but, when the issue of life and death is at stake one need to open his eyes like a fish before enjoying the pleasures of the act.

I could still remember it like the tune of an old jamz some three years ago in the classroom of my alma mater. ‘Mother’ as our amiable virology lecturer was fondly called bounced into the classroom in her terrific London suit and blew us a kiss. This earned her a generous laugh from us. She smiled at us after the laughter went cold and wrote “kissing disease” in the centre of the white board. She had not said anything yet and the bados amongst us started giggling and looking from one face to another. Me with my clear and sunny conscience smacked my lips and checked them in the imaginary mirror before me for any ailing signs. I whipped my head around and when I was satisfied that nobody saw what I did, I arranged myself and tried not to let the pictures in my mind show on my face.

The entire class smiled and laughed at her demonstrations for the better part of the lecture but seriously speaking that will definitely not be the case now that this kissing disease thing has gained huge prominence with the dreaded Ebola virus.

Kissing disease otherwise known as infectious mononucleosis is common among people between the ages of 15 and 24 years. The term refers to the fact that people afflicted with this condition have an increase number of mononuclear leukocytes in their blood. It is caused by the Epstein-Bar (EB) Virus named after its founders, M.A. Epstein and Y.M. Barr.


The symptoms usually appear between 30-60 days after infection. The symptoms consist of the following: 

  • Fever
  • Sore throat covered with pus
  • Fatigue
  • Enlargement of the spleen and lymph nodes

Mode of transmission

The virus is transmitted through;

  • Direct contact with infected fluid including saliva, tears, or mucus.
  • During kissing saliva from an infected person could be transferred to the other person.
  • Sharing of eating utensils and cups with an infected person.
  • Epstein-Bar virus can be asymptomatic in some persons in which case the virus could be spread to other people through a searing kiss.
  • It could be spread through blood


  • Avoid the saliva of an infected person
  •  Don’t share tooth brushes or drinking glasses that are possibly infected with the virus.


Antiviral medications such as acyclovir and famciclover inhibit productive infection by the virus and are of value in rare serious cases; however they have no effect against the latent infection.

Some of these drugs are not suitable for people with certain conditions, so it will be best you see your doctor.

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