p. It is no secret that college campuses are notorious breeding grounds for mononucleosis, the infectious disease often spread through saliva that generates symptoms including fever, fatigue and sore throat.
p. However, students should be especially wary of contracting “the kissing disease” this winter because it appears to be on the rise at the College.
p. The Student Health Center, which in the past has treated approximately 58 cases of mono a year, has already diagnosed 48 students this semester, according to Sarah Irwin, a health educator at the College.
p. This increase, however, has not been enough to place the disease within the top 10 diagnoses at the health center, which is visited by about 130 students each day. The leading diagnosis is upper respiratory infection, followed by depression.
p. Nor do sexually transmitted diseases rank among the most common diagnoses at the health center. They treat approximately 40 cases of STDs per year and have seen 18 so far. The most common are chlamydia, herpes and Human Papillomavirus.
p. “The best general health advice I can give is to sleep and wash your hands,” Gail Moses, M.D., director of the Student Health Center, said. “In the case of STDs, a lot of people have them and don’t think they do. I would encourage routine screening if you are engaged in high risk activity – any unprotected sex.”