Beware of a smoker’s kiss.

Red alert: When your smoking father comes close to give you a hug or a kiss, push him away and run in the opposite direction.

According to Professor Robert Booy, director of research at the National Centre for Immunisation and Research at Sydney’s The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, smokers are prime candidates for carrying the potentially deadly meningococcus bacteria in the back of their throats.

Smokers generally carry more germs like meningococcus, and hence family cuddles and kisses can pass
on dangerous germs, even if they only smoke outside.

Booy claims the bug can be passed to children through “normal family cuddles and kisses”, and one in 10 children who go on to develop the rare meningococcal disease will die from it, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Booy pointed to recent University of Sydney research, which showed almost 92% of New South Wales residents aged over 16 report they live in a house that is smoke-free.

He said this showed how many parents who smoked went outside to indulge their habit and this would reduce a child’s risk of passive smoking-related middle ear infection and asthma, or even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The symptoms of meningococcal disease may include sudden onset of fever, severe headache, drowsiness, sore legs or sore joints, nausea and vomiting, a dislike of bright lights, a stiff neck and a rash of red-purple spots.

Via Times of India