|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Increasing incidence of 'Kiss Disease' blamed on hyper-hygienic parents 2006,12,01
Shukan Gendai 12/9 By Ryann Connell
People are starting to think twice before they pucker up, with growing numbers of young Japanese in particular falling victim to what's being called Kiss Disease, says Shukan Gendai (12/9).
A university student from Tokyo is a case in point. In mid-October, she developed the classic symptoms of a cold, but instead of disappearing in a few days, the condition lingered.
She broke out in a fever, her temperature topping 38 degrees. She tried cold medicine from a local drugstore.
It didn't work.Nor did the medicine her local doctor gave her.
By this time, her throat was becoming inflamed and painful.
Finally, her throat so agonizing she was unable to eat, her parents took her off to a hospital where a blood test revealed she had contracted Kiss Disease.
And Kiss Disease is becoming rampant among the nation's men and women in their 20s, the men's weekly claims.
Experts have already sounded the alert.
"Kiss Disease is what's called an infectious mononucleosis, which is brought on by the Epstein-Barr virus and is transmitted between humans through saliva.
And once the EB virus gets in your body, it's there for life.
So, the more people kiss, the more the virus is transmitted," Masayoshi Negishi, the physician in charge of combating infectious diseases at the Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, tells Shukan Gendai.
"Symptoms of the EB-virus are similar to catching a cold -- a high temperature, headache, loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, rashes on the neck and chest and sore throats are common complaints.
If Kiss Disease gets really bad, it can lead to serious illnesses like swollen livers or spleens, or even pneumonia."
If something as simple as a kiss is all it needs to transmit the EB virus, surely all the world's adults must have contracted it, the weekly muses. In fact, that's exactly right.
"The EB virus is one of the world's most common viruses.
It's transmitted in nearly all humans when mothers breastfeed their children. When the virus is picked up in infancy, its symptoms hardly ever show, or end in a minor cold at worst, so most people never realize they've contracted it," Keisei Kawa,head of the Osaka Prefectural Maternity Health and General Medical Center, tells Shukan Gendai.
"Once people have picked up the EB virus, they become immune to it and the chances of contracting Kiss Disease are virtually non-existent."
However, in modern Japan, the number of children who've built up immunity to the EB virus is apparently on the decline.
It's also become more common for parents to feed their children baby food bought at the supermarket instead of chewing their own food first before giving it to their kids as was once common in Japan.
The increasing number of working mothers with less time to spend with their children, the adoption of Western eating manners where everybody eats off their own plate instead of all family members sharing one and other changes in the average Japanese lifestyle are also among the reasons cited for the EB virus losing its effectiveness in Japan.
And, with the EB virus being transmitted to fewer people when they're young, it makes those who haven't contracted the virus more susceptible to its more virulent effects when they reach puberty and start getting into situations where they're swapping saliva with others.
Even frequent kissers who have picked the EB virus can't rest lightly, though, with mouths proving to be potentially dangerous when it comes to the transmission of diseases other than Kiss Disease.
"Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and genital warts can be passed on to the throat through practices like fellatio and cunnilingus.
If you kiss somebody who has contracted one of these STDs in their throat, chances are it'll be passed on to your throat, too.
I've seen a rapid increase in patients seeking treatment for STDs in their throat recently, especially chlamydia," Tsuneo Akaeda, head of the Roppongi Hospital, tells Shukan Gendai.
"You can get sexually transmitted diseases without ever having sex. And there's no effective way to prevent the transmission of STDs through kissing." (By Ryann Connell)
（Mainichi Japan） December 1, 2006