Mono or Mononucleosis often called as kissing disease is caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or Cytomegalovirus (CMV). The most common cause of Mononucleosis is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The virus impairs the immune function as it affects the white blood cells. The disease can be contracted by both adults and children, in children; the symptoms of mononucleosis do not appear full-fledged and will fade away in some time. It is most commonly seen in adolescents and young adults aged between 15 and 35.
Is Mono An STD?
Many people find it embarrassing to admit that they suffer from an STD. Infected people find it easy to discuss the infection, STD name and may be able to explain the symptoms better. Mononucleosis falls in the borderline between STD and non-STD. The transmission of infection is through saliva, vaginal, cervical, and penile secretions.
There is scientific evidence which lands the infection caused by CMV and EBV to categorize Mono as STD still the classification has not yet established. EBV is present in high concentration in saliva and sexual arousal with deep kissing enhances the chances of infection. People suffering from CMV Mono are likely to get infected through vaginal intercourse. Irrespective of the classification, try to be safe and honest with your partner if you suffer from any kind of infections.
Mononucleosis is a contagious disease but the spread is not as common as cold or flu. Here the transmission of infection is through intimate contact while kissing, having penetrative sex or use of infected utensils. Mononucleosis through CMV is transmitted through kissing and sexual intercourse. CMV is a Herpes virus and is commonly transmitted through infected body fluids. The CMV infected body fluids are responsible for mononucleosis infection. EBV is one of the commonly found viruses across the globe. The EBV is transmitted through direct contact with infected person’s saliva and at times through vaginal, cervical, and penile secretions. Up to 90% of cases of Mono are due to EBV. According to a study of Edinburgh University, Out of 8 human herpesviruses, 4 (HSV, CMV, KSHV, and EBV) are considered to be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Hence, EBV infection can also be considered as a form of STD. High concentration of EBV is found in saliva when compared to genital secretions. The sexual arousal during penetrative sexual intercourse can result in deep kissing which can felicitate the transfer of EBV infected saliva into the partner. EBV infection can be assumed to be a part of sexually transmitted infections. The other possible causes for transmission of infection include coughing, sneezing, sharing of glass and utensils of the infected persons.
It is always advised to be fair with your partner, as mono is a contagious disease and can be transmitted through kissing and sexual intercourse. Do not put your part at risk of infections affecting his or her health. Whether you call it as STD or not the infection takes its own course of action and fades-off. Mononucleosis is diagnosed after considering the duration of signs and symptoms by physical examination, swollen lymph nodes, tonsils, liver or spleen. The major complication of the disease is enlargement of spleen, hence adequate rest is important as exercise and exertion can result in rupture. There is no specific treatment or mononucleosis. Adequate rest and lots of fluids can help in recovering faster. Antibiotics will not be beneficial in treating the infection. There is only symptomatic treatment to be given for pain, fever and sore throat. OTC medicines are prescribed. Dissolve salt in warm water and gargle it a couple of times in a day, this will help in relieving symptoms of a sore throat.
There are no prophylactic vaccines available for Mono. The viruses causing Mono can reside in your saliva without producing symptoms for months together. The person can become a silent agent for the transfer of infection to healthy individuals. You can preventive measures such as washing hands, not sharing a glass and other utensils.