Hey Baby, How ‘Bout You and I Share Some Immunity Later?

Posted: September 26, 2011 by jerkmag in CRISP -- health
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You’re walking home from a night out on Marshall St. with your significant other–or a very beneficial friend, or even a person you just met (no judging)–and they’re looking at you with those come-hither eyes.

You both lean in for an innocent (let’s face it, probably not-so-innocent) kiss, and when your lips finally touch, the last thing you’re both probably thinking is, “hmm, I wonder just how many germs we’re exchanging right now.” Just in case you’re newly curious as to how germ-infested those kisses are for future reference, the answer is: very.

Aside from the obvious infections transmitted through saliva-swapping like, mono, strep throat and cold sores, there’s another disease that can be added to that list: Cytomegalovirus. According to a 2009 study in the medical journal, Medical Hypotheses, however, the Cyto-virus (which is what I’ll be calling it from now on), is actually quite beneficial, and could even be deemed as one of the reasons for those late-night lip-locking sessions.

Normally a harmless bug, the Cyto-virus’ only victims are the unborn babies of pregnant women and can lead to birth defects or death. Luckily, the Cyto-virus acts as a sort of immunization to women who aren’t pregnant so that their bodies are immune to the virus once they’re with child. As the study states, the Cyto-virus lurks around in a man’s saliva just waiting to be transmitted to a woman. When that man and woman finally kiss for the first time, the woman contracts a very small amount of the virus, which readies her body for future doses.

As the relationship progresses and kissing becomes more frequent and intimate, a woman’s immunity to the Cyto-virus increases, so eventually, the virus won’t harm any potential children. So, the next time you’re going at it with that cute girl or guy from the bar, or maybe the potential parent of your future offspring, be sure to thank them for the immunization. Just, maybe keep it to yourself. You might ruin the mood, otherwise.

-Amber Brenza

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