British researchers tell teens to quit being so slutty

Serial kissing is bad for you!

Published February 10, 2006 9:52PM (EST)

Since I've already had mono, I was initially underwhelmed by the alarming Guardian headline "Serial Snogging Puts Teens at Deadly Risk" (though I will concede that, like so many things, it sounds better when the Brits say it). But as it turns out, it's not just mono we should worry about. Meningitis and septicemia count as "kissing diseases," too, and those things can really kill ya.

Swapping spit can mean swapping the meningococcal bacteria that can cause these infections. Researchers found that French-kissing seven or more partners in a two-week period quadrupled a person's risk of contracting meningitis or septicemia. And who's most likely to find that many kissing partners in such a short time? Teens! (However, we also plan to warn the cast of "One Tree Hill.")

According to the Guardian, researchers seeking to reduce the rates of infection in the U.K. said that "teenagers should change their behavior to reduce their risk of infection, but accepted this was unlikely."

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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