It's called the kissing disease, which makes mono sound a lot more romantic than it really is. According to the Mayo Clinic, mononucleosis is spread through saliva, meaning you can be exposed to it from kissing, coughing, sneezing, or sharing items like glasses, utensils, and toothbrushes. The common cold is more contagious, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be on the lookout for signs you might have mono — which, confusingly, look a lot like the symptoms of other illnesses.
Mono is a sneaky little thing. ABC News says it affects roughly 95 percent of us at some point in our lives. In fact, by five years old, half of the children in this country will get it. Mono is often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which attacks white blood cells; and here's the kicker: once you get it, it stays in your cells for.ev.er. There is one upside, though, even though you always carry the virus: the University of Michigan's University Health Service says you're not likely to feel the effects of mono a second time.
It all might sound like a death sentence, but Healthline assures us it's usually not all that serious. However, if it lingers, mono can also cause strep, tonsillitis, and sinus infections. Either way, being sick stinks; and the best you can do is familiarize yourself with the symptoms of mono so you can catch them early on. Here are seven of them.