Can You Get Mono Without Kissing?

Mononucleosis is also known as mono. This infection occurs due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Its most common cause is deep kissing, due to which this disease is also called the kissing disease. However, it can be caused by other modes too like blood transfusion, organ transplant and others discussed below. It occurs in young age which may show its symptoms in adulthood. It is a mild disease and rarely causes serious illness. It also resolves on its own in the majority of the cases in a certain period of time.

Can You Get Mono Without Kissing?

Can You Get Mono Without Kissing?

Mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. A few cases are caused by cytomegalovirus that represents symptoms similar to mono and other infectious diseases. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is present everywhere. Most patients in their adulthood catch the infection caused by EBV in their adolescence or young adulthood. The main way of transmission of this virus is bodily fluids like blood, saliva or urine.

Mononucleosis is a contagious disease and it is transmitted to other people when the virus is active in the body not in the dormant state. It is most commonly spread through kissing. According to many kinds of research, it is transmitted through deep kissing when someone comes in direct contact with the saliva of the infected person. It is the major way of transmission of the disease. But there are other ways too through which the virus can be transmitted.

These ways are-

  • When food and drinks are shared between an infected person and other people
  • When recently used utensils like spoon, fork or cups by an infected person are used by another person.
  • When an infected person sneezes or coughs around other people
  • When toothbrushes of an infected person are shared
  • When a healthy person comes in contact with the semen of an affected person
  • When someone is transfused with infected blood
  • When an infected organ is transplanted in a healthy person
  • When someone has sexual contact with an infected person
  • When toys that have been drooled on are shared

Mono or mononucleosis is a common viral infection. It is represented by a short period of symptoms of infection alternated by a long phase of tiredness. This disease is most commonly caused by deep kissing, so it is also called kissing disease. It is the most draining disease but does not cause long-term damage to the body. This infection often goes away on its own and it may require treatment. Its recovery period is longer than other viral infections. This disease progress slowly, it may take four to eight weeks to represent symptoms after contact with the virus. Its symptoms may disappear in 2 to 3 weeks after the incubation period.

Causes Of Mono

The Epstein-Barr virus is the main causative virus of mono. It belongs to the herpes virus family. It is the most common virus that can infect humans in the world. People are exposed to this virus most commonly at their young age as teenagers. In some cases, even if people are exposed to this virus do not develop the symptoms of mono. These people may carry this virus for the rest of their life without having its symptoms.

In children, this virus does not cause symptoms in most of the cases and the infection gets undiagnosed. It represents noticeable symptoms in adults and adolescents in 35-50 % of cases. It spreads to other people by direct contact with blood, saliva, urine or semen. It takes four to eight weeks to represent symptoms after exposure to infection.

However, it can be caused by other viruses also in a few cases.


Mononucleosis or mono is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The most common route of transmission for mono is through deep kissing. It also spreads through other modes like direct contact with the discharges of the infected person like blood, saliva, etc., blood transfusion, organ transplants and others discussed above.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 5, 2023

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