What Can You Get Infected Through Saliva: 6 Unpleasant Sores

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What Can You Get Infected Through Saliva: 6 Unpleasant Sores
What Can You Get Infected Through Saliva: 6 Unpleasant Sores
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How can you get infected through saliva?
How can you get infected through saliva?

If life were fair, it would be impossible to catch something bad from a kiss. But in addition to things like colds and flu, it is actually possible to get sick with various diseases. This includes a sexually transmitted couple. Below are what you can get through saliva, infections you can get from kissing, and what you need to know to stay safe.

The content of the article

  • 1 Herpes
  • 2 Syphilis
  • 3 Meningitis
  • 4 Infectious mononucleosis
  • 5 Gingivitis
  • 6 West Nile fever

Herpes

The first thing that you can get infected through saliva is, of course, Herpes can be incurable, but this does not make you an outcast. In fact, it makes you sane. According to the World Health Organization, about two-thirds of the world's population under 50 has herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), which is known as oral herpes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in six people on earth under the age of 50 has herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2), which is known as genital herpes.

The peculiarity of HSV-1 is that it sometimes causes cold sores in and around the mouth. If you kiss someone with an injured mouth, the mucous membranes make it easier to transmit herpes. So, if someone you kiss has HSV-1, they can give you the virus (even if they don't currently have an outbreak, a phenomenon known as "asymptomatic shedding" means they can still pass it on). And if an infection develops, it can transmit the virus to your genitals.

Syphilis2

Syphilis is a highly contagious disease and one of its symptoms is the development of mouth ulcers. Kissing is not the most common mode of transmission of syphilis - oral, anal, and vaginal sex are still higher. But, according to WHO, currently the incidence of syphilis is growing. If you or your partner has syphilis-related sores in the mouth, they (and the virus itself) should be treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

So what about other STDs? While the chances of transmission of infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV through saliva are close to zero, if either of you has a cut or pain in your mouth, any time an open wound or blood is present, the infection could theoretically be transmitted orally.

Meningitis3

Some meningitis is caused by bacteria, while others are caused by viruses (including the herpes virus). Close contact with someone who has viral meningitis can cause you to become infected, but it is unlikely to actually develop into meningitis, according to the WHO.

How can you get infected through saliva?
How can you get infected through saliva?

Bacterial meningitis is usually referred to as an outbreak because the bacteria can spread through close contact, including kissing, but unlike the viral variety, bacteria are more likely to cause meningitis in a carrier. Symptoms include a stiff neck, fever, and headache.

Infectious mononucleosis4

Ah, the so-called "kissing disease"! It definitely deserves its nickname because mononucleosis is caused by a virus that can be contracted through saliva. One of its symptoms is extreme fatigue, although others include a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. Treatment mainly includes bed rest, good food, and drinking plenty of fluids, so there is potential benefit from getting mononucleosis.

Gingivitis5

Kissing doesn't just involve swapping saliva, it also involves swapping bacteria with another person. Depending on your oral care habits, these bacteria can cause gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease. We each have our own natural bacterial flora in our oral environment. When someone has poor hygiene, some bacteria in and around the gum tissue can become overwhelming.

How can you get infected through a kiss
How can you get infected through a kiss

They can pass these bacteria on to you through kissing, which could potentially lead to the typical sore red gums that signal gingivitis. The best way to protect yourself is to maintain excellent oral health.

West Nile Fever6

So, what about West Nile Fever, the outbreak of which was reported in Russia in 2018? You may have heard that it can be transmitted through kissing.

West Nile Fever is on everyone's lips, primarily because it can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by an abnormally small head and brain. Now researchers are faced with the task of determining all the ways of spreading the virus, including sexually. And yes, that could include saliva. Mosquitoes are the main source of transmission of the virus, but have also been found to be present in a number of different body fluids.

How can you get infected through a kiss
How can you get infected through a kiss

There have been no known cases of transmission of West Nile virus via saliva. But when investigating one case of sexually transmitted virus transmission, the researchers said they "cannot rule out the possibility that transmission was not through semen, but through other body fluids, such as the secretion of pre-ejaculate or saliva exchanged through kissing." This is something to keep in mind, especially if you are traveling to an area affected by West Nile fever.

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