Sharing a kiss with your someone special is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have someone to kiss and on the other, you are likely to get really sick as kissing can cause to exchange enough spit to spread the Epstein-Barr Virus. The second edge is sharper as Epstein Barr virus is associated with increased risk of seven other diseases.
According to a paper published in the journal Nature Genetics  , some researchers have said that if you catch this virus, you have greater likelihood of contracting seven big diseases. The rate of incidence of this condition is quite high. It is known to affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. The seven diseases are: multiple sclerosis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease,systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. The researchers examined the risk of the Epstein- Barr virus by studying effects of the virus on the DNA of the people. Epstein-Barr virus remains in the body for a lifetime.
Epstein-Barr virus does not just cause “mononucleosis,” also called as kissing disease, which is marked by fatigue, fever, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms. It produces a protein in the body called as EBNA2 which attaches to the regions of DNA linked with the seven diseases. So, the body is not able to follow the instructions correctly that are encoded in the DNA and disease follows. EBNA2 affects the 1600 transcription factors – which tell the cells to read the correct genes and abnormal proteins produced are associated with increase in the risk of the disease.
Knowing how the Epstein-Barr virus ravages at the genetic level implies that researchers can also have a better understanding of how to stop it. Development of medicines in future will require molecules that would bind the DNA in the regions where the virus would bind, thereby eliminating out the virus and stopping it from wreaking havoc.
The paper reports the major findings of the association of the virus with seven diseases as mentioned previously. But data is also reported regarding abnormalities in the body’s 1600 transcription factors with more than 200 diseases inclusive of breast cancer. It is being speculated and hoped that scientists will develop drugs for cater to those abnormalities.
As of now, the only and best method is keep yourself safe is to not get Epstein-Barr virus. No vaccine has been developed so far, so avoidance is the key. You should not kiss or share foods and drinks with someone who has infectious mononucleosis. It is not easy to tell who’s having mono and who’s not, so it is going to be risky. Maybe you should consider celibacy.