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This post is not meant to scare you or make you anxious for every time you need to kiss a loved one. Kissing is no doubt one of the loving ways to show affection but what many may not realise is that intimate kisses that involve exchanging saliva can often transfer illnesses.

According to HealthGrove, it used data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control to find eight diseases that are transmitted through saliva.

Keep reading to find out the diseases you can get through kissing.

Mononucleosis

Popularly called "the kissing disease", it is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Infection and related symptoms da last from one to two months. Symptoms are very similar to those of the flu and include a fever, sore throat, fatigue, muscle weakness and swollen lymph glands. There is no treatment for mononucleosis but staying hydrated, resting and taking medication often helps.

Cytomegalovirus

This disease spreads through saliva, as well as through blood, urine, semen and breast milk. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus in the herpes family. and like all herpes viruses, it remains dormant in the body for long periods. Symptoms can include fatigue, fever, muscle aches and, in more serious cases, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures and visual impairment.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is also known as periodontitis and gingivitis and although it is not spread through kissing, the bad bacteria that cause it can. To avoid gum disease, regular brushing and flossing can serve as a defense.

Herpes

Once oral herpes is contracted, it stays with you forever. Oral herpes is transmitted through direct contact between an infected area and broken skin or a mucous membrane. During an outbreak, symptoms usually last between 8-10 days on average and the cold sores heal on their own.

Meningitis

This disease can be spread from one person to another via respiratory secretions. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting. This disease has no medication but staying healthy with a strong immune system helps to get the better of it.

Mumps

Mumps affects the salivary glands and causes them to swell. It usually spreads via airborne droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. Symptoms typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Rubella

Referred to as the German measles, rubella is caused by a virus transmitted through an infected person's sneeze or cough. Symptoms include fever and rash and clear up in two to three days. The rubella vaccine can prevent this disease.

Influenza

Influenza is spread via droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk.  Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue. Most people recover on their own in less than two weeks.

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