Mononucleosis, also known as the "kissing disease," is the last party favor you want to get after a night of fun. Unfortunately, mono doesn't go away after a week like a cold. This non-treatable virus makes you feel run down and weak for weeks, sometimes even months, and could seriously impact your school work and social life. 

Having just recovered from mono, I spent most of my summer explaining to people what mono is, how I was feeling, and reassuring them that they wouldn't die from sitting next to me. I'm still unclear on exactly what will and will not give you mono, and every doctor I talked to had a different opinion, but there are a few things you could do to avoid being bedridden for weeks.

tea, coffee, beer, pizza
Jordana Colomby

The Epstein-Barr Virus is responsible for causing mono. It's spreadable through saliva and most people actually contract the virus at some point in their life, but symptoms are more likely to show in teens and young adults. With the somewhat carefree lifestyle of college students, it's not hard to imagine why mono spreads so quickly. 

So maybe sharing cups isn't the best idea if you're trying to avoid mono, but let's be honest — we're not going to stop playing beer pong altogether. And that's just one party game! It's pretty hard to think of a party game that doesn't involve sharing cups in one way or another.

chili, pepper, ketchup, hot sauce, vegetable
Photo by Bari Blanga

The real risk involved in sharing cups is that the virus is in your system for 4-7 weeks before your body starts showing symptoms. So, many people spread mono before they even know they have it. Mono also affects everybody differently. It's possible to have such mild symptoms that you think it's a flu and it's even possible not to show symptoms at all.

tea, juice, coffee, sweet
Sarah Bundra

You could switch out the cups between rounds of the game, but there's still no guarantee that you won't get sick. The most you can do is keep your cup to yourself and look out for the symptoms which include fatigue, swollen glands, headaches, fevers, and a sore throat. Most importantly, if you think you have these symptoms, opt out of the next round of beer pong. You could be spreading it through your saliva, and with that said, everyone will thank you, including your liver.