Dr. Matte is Unromantic

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Dr. Matte is Unromantic - you VA Doc Wants To Take Kissing Out Of Kissing...
you VA Doc Wants To Take Kissing Out Of Kissing Disease By J«y Hall CITIZEN STAFF WRITER Dr. Paul J. Matte Jr., director of the University of Arizona Student Health Service, is unforgivably unromantic. He wants to take the "kiss" out of the "kissing disease." Mononucleosis, he says, '·"never should have gotten that name." For many people who hear that someone else has mononucleosis, a reaction of smugness -- "Hm, kissing disease" -- may set in and wild moral speculation may rear an ugly head. And, if several Arizona health authorities are correct, those who have ever had it would be more than justified in fervently wishing that those who react that way would be the next to come down with it. One of the perpetrators of the outrage in Matte's eyes, and no doubt rightly so, is the urge of the newspaper reporter invariably to get "kissing disease" into any store about the ailment with the difficult name which is usually shortened to "mono" if the term kissing disease is abandoned. And' ah, the headline writers! It's unthinkable to pass up an opportunity to get "kissing sickness" or some variation thereof into the headline. (See headline on this story). Still, Matte should be more distraught with West Point than with newspapers. It was there, it is said, that "mono" got its kissing appellation because only cadets who went on dates seemed to catch it during one outbreak at the military academy. "Kissing," said Matte, "never has been a legitimate factor in mononucleosis. There is nothing really implicit in kissing connected with it." Still the image persists. Perhaps because people like Matte who deplore the kissing syndrome nevertheless acknowledge that interpersonal transference of saliva or bodily secretion seems to have some connection with the ailment. Its cause is suspected to be a virus but the origin of the virus is still subject to scientific proof. "It is not particularly trans- ferable in a close person-to- person relationship," said Matte. "For instance, you don't often find one roommate catching it from another or find more than one case in an entire family." There may be spurious romance in mono's nickname but there's nothing romantic about it to those afflicted with it. The symptoms are standardized today. You may have it a few days or a few months. Fatalities are not impossible but they are rare. First comes a sore throat, then (not necessarily in order) chills, fatigue, tenderness in the liver, swelling of the spleen, fever, enlargement of the neck glands and some other discomforts. There does seem to be some definite but elusive link between mono and extended "crowdedness." For example, college students are quite prone to acquire it. Tucson is relatively free of mono now, although there are occasional cases, according to both Matte and Dr. Frederick J. Brady, director of the Pima County Health Department. Prescott College had a reported major outbreak in February. It resulted in a distress call being sent by the State Health Department to the U.S. Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga., which sent an epidemiologist scurrying to the Yavapai County campus. Keports are almost complete now and this is what they show at this point, according to Philip Hotchkiss of the State Health Department: Not more than four cases could be definitely diagnosed as mono. The approximately five dozen other students examined had kindred symptoms which proved not to be mono. They had flocked to the campus health center after learning mono had come to the campus. The persistent kissing myth possibly (who knows?) has set up inhibitions among some adoring couples who hear that mononucleosis is stirring around their town. Should you stop kissing then? "It's hardly practical, is it?" Matte quietly responds. TUCSON DAILY CITIZEN SATURDAY, JUNE 19, I97T

Clipped from
  1. Tucson Daily Citizen,
  2. 19 Jun 1971, Sat,
  3. Page 40

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  • Dr. Matte is Unromantic

    unigusguss – 11 Sep 2013

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