Monday, February 2, 2009

The Kissing Disease Is Still Spreading

There is an infection known as mononucleosis, which is also given the name “the kissing disease.” Also known as Epstein-Barr, it is a variation of the herpes virus, and almost all Americans are known to have been infected with it at least once by the time they reach their late 30s. Teenagers and young adults are known to be the most susceptible age group to the condition, with an estimated 35 to 50% of all those who were affected developing severe fatigue, though other symptoms are not uncommon. There are physicians that worry that it has become severely trivialized, despite the fact that new medications and vaccines for it are lacking.

The symptoms of the condition are easily identifiable, but can easily disrupt a person's daily life. The disease can turn a previously active, athletic person into someone who sleeps as much as she can, at every available chance. The person in question may feel exhausted, and may feel as if they are never well-rested, despite getting regularly getting enough sleep. Some may just dismiss this as one thing or another, but other symptoms can make the possibility of a condition hard to ignore. One such symptom is when the glands in the neck become swollen, and areas of the abdomen become visibly enlarged, to the point that it is painfully clear something is wrong.

This condition is spread by close physical contact, and it is sometimes seen as a rite of passage for many young adults. The symptoms of the condition can last for months at a time, and there are patients who become infected with this and never display any of the symptoms of it. These include a sore throat, severe fatigue, fever, swelling of various glands, and an enlarged spleen. The disease is considered a common one, which makes experts fear that it may become trivial for the research community. The lack of studies going into treatments and vaccines for it is taken as an indication of the lack of interest.

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