According to the link, freshmen students have a risk of getting meningitis, which is an infection of your nervous system, if they kiss people and get bacteria into any raw wound in their mouth.
I was like seriously, kissing is so dangerous?! Is this article exaggerating things or what? Am I supposed to ask my girlfriend to gurgle antiseptic before kissing, or take a bath with dettol before making out?
Most Helpful Guy
Meningitis isn't a disease, it's a term for inflammation of the meninges, the membrane that surrounds and covers your brain and spinal cord. "-itis" means inflammation, so "meningitis" is literally the swelling of the membrane to the point of putting dangerous pressure on your brain. You'll often see people who have it showing a stiff neck (this is very indicative of meningitis), a fever and a headache all at once. It is caused by a variety of bacteria such as E. coli or H. influenza, which are all very common but only cause sickness when they get into the wrong part of your body (so if it manages to get to your brain, for example). It is very common when people share drinks or live in very confined spaces and are from different places (such as dorms) because the bacteria that is normal from where THEY come from might be something you aren't used to, and thus can cause you to get sick but they themselves aren't bothered by it. That is why freshman are so susceptible to it, they often live together in a single dorm and are exposed to people with new bacteria for the first time. Meningitis can also be caused by viruses or fungi, but the main point is to be careful with what you drink and who you are in close contact with. And if you have those 3 symptoms I mentioned earlier, please go see a nurse or doctor, as the infection can be life threatening if left untreated.2