Skip to content

Infectious mononucleosis (kissing disease)


The disease kiss , also known as infectious mononucleosis , is an infectious viral disease caused by a virus called Epstein-Barr. This is a type of herpes virus and also one of the most common among humans. Today, it is present throughout the world and it is estimated that about 95% of people over 30 years of age have suffered from this disease at some time.

This virus can be caused by the so-called cytomegalovirus and also by toxoplasma gondii, but the latter rarely causes it.

The virus is transmitted essentially through the mouth, through saliva . The virus is latent in the saliva of the person who has been infected in the intense phase of the disease and the months after. During that time, there is a possibility that there is a danger of contagion for people who are not immune to this type of virus.

This disease especially harms children and young people. It can be said that, among adults, almost everyone has been affected by this virus. Once it has been suffered, the normal thing is to become immune to this disease.

What is infectious mononucleosis?

The infectious mononucleosis or fever ganglionar is a disorder of the lymphatic tissue usually a positive development. The infection caused by the virus known as Epstein-Barr progresses in different ways, depending on the person infected. If it develops in the infantile stage, we usually do not see symptoms . On certain occasions, the signs of this disease are the same as a common flu that is accompanied by a cough, sore throat or anguish.

This fever can be severe, but generally lasts two to four weeks and resolves without complications.

Causes of kissing disease

Ganglion fever is caused, in most cases, by the Epstein-Barr virus. It is a virus related to the herpesvirus family.

Generally, infection by this type of virus occurs in immunologically depressed people. This pathology is transmitted primarily through mouth-to-mouth contact (especially saliva). For this reason, it is also known as the kissing disease. Genital transmission is less frequent.

First, viruses are carried from saliva to mucous areas and the throat. If transmission occurs through sexual contact, the viruses can infect the vagina and cervix, thus affecting different cells. Consequently, viruses spread and attack cells of the lymphatic system , called B lymphocytes. B lymphocytes are elements of our body’s immune system and their function is to produce antibodies that fight against pathogens that enter the body. The virus transforms the properties of lymphocytes and causes their division and spread by blood and lymphatic vessels throughout our body. In this way, they reach the lymph nodes and internal organs.

Symptoms of kissing disease

The main symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, which can become permanent; pharyngitis ; and swollen lymph nodes. However, other symptoms may arise , such as: general malaise, headache , abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice …

You may also be interested in:   Onychomycosis

The incubation phase usually lasts between four and seven weeks, although it can exceed fifty days. In children under five years of age, the infection does not cause symptoms. However, when it affects older children and even adolescents, symptoms appear. In young adults, fever and pharyngitis can develop and can lead to various illnesses .

To summarize, the main symptoms are:

  1. Fever: fever can occur between 10 and 14 days
  2. Swollen lymph nodes: At the same time as the fever arises, the lymph nodes in different parts of the body become swollen. Generally, the lymph nodes of the throat are those that increase in size, although those of the thorax or abdominal area are not ruled out.
  3. Spleen enlargement: between the second and third week of the disease, this symptom can originate, which gradually disappears.
  4. Pharyngitis: About 85% of people who have swollen lymph nodes during the disease process have it.

Other symptoms not so frequent, but no less important, are:

  • Hepatomegaly: that is, enlargement of the liver. The sensation denotes a certain pressure in the right area of ​​the abdomen, which even takes on a yellowish color.
  • Skin rash: small redness and bruises may appear.
  • Spleen ruptured: in exceptional cases, the spleen can rupture, due to enlargement.

Diagnosis and treatment of kissing disease

The doctor can make an effective diagnosis, having carried out a blood test. Symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, and pharyngitis lead to the development of this disease.

This disease has a certain treatment , such as complete rest, so that the fever and swollen lymph nodes heal. For the fever to go down, the provision of medications is necessary.

In those cases in which a bacterial superinfection is appreciated, the help of antibiotics will be required.

Today, there is no specific and efficient pharmacological treatment capable of dealing with this viral alteration, but there are drugs that can soothe the pain of infectious mononucleosis :

  • Analgesics and antipyretics: these are drugs for the treatment of generic symptoms of the disease, such as fever and pain.
  • Antiseptics and anti-inflammatories: used to soothe sore throats.

Ingestion of plenty of fluids and rest are recommended to reduce the risk of ruptured spleen.


People with immune deficiencies should pay more attention to the prevention of this disease. They should avoid contact with those with this disease. Therefore, contact with the saliva of the affected person should be avoided, such as, for example, not using the same glass.

Despite the fact that the disease has been overcome, a person can transmit it after 18 months after having suffered it.

In short, information is essential to heal and that this disease does not degenerate into its most negative consequences.


Website | + posts

Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *