Saturday, October 3, 2015

Claire Henderson, a new mom from Doncaster, England, posted the above shocking photos to Facebook on September 16. With them, she explained how a person with no visible signs of cold sores gave them to her baby Brooke by getting close to her. In babies, that virus can be fatal.

Henderson wrote:

Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know... COLD SORES CAN BE FATAL FOR A BABY. Before 3 months old a baby cannot fight the herpes virus. If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death. I know this sounds like I am scaremongering but if my friend had not told me about this my baby girl could have been very seriously ill. I noticed the signs early and got her to A&E, we have now been in hospital on a drip for 3 days and have got another 2 to go. She was VERY lucky, all her tests came back clear. The moral of the story is DO NOT let anyone kiss your newborns mouth, even if they don't look like they have a cold sore- 85% of the population carry the virus. And if someone had a cold sore ask them to stay away until it has gone. Everyone who I have spoken to had not heard of this before and so I felt it was important to share Brooke's story and raise awareness to stop anyone else going through what we have this week.

She's not wrong: According to the New York State Department of Health, the HSV-1 (oral herpes virus) manifests mildly in newborns at first. Some present with a fever and cold sores before becoming "very sick" with seizures.

NYU pediatrician Julie G. Capiola told Yahoo! Parenting it is imperative that parents "limit the number of people who visit and handle your baby for the first few months, and remind them not to kiss the baby's face, especially on the lips," in order to prevent cases like Brooke's from happening.

It's advised that you notify your doctor immediately when any of these symptoms become present, as the virus spreads quickly.

In 2008, ABC reported on the death of a newborn who had a cold sore for a day before it disappeared. Her parents thought nothing of it and only brought her to the hospital when she had a fever and rash a week later, where she was diagnosed with HSV-1 and died.

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