Woman Warns Other Moms After Newborn Gets Life-Threatening Herpes Virus

by Gillian Fuller

If you're a parent, sibling or person responsible for a newborn baby, you might want to listen to this mother's warning about protecting your baby during cold sore season.

Cold sores, for the unfamiliar, are the physical symptoms of HSV-1, the oral herpes virus.

Unlike traditional herpes, oral herpes is not a sexually transmitted disease; rather, it's transmitted via saliva, often from kissing or sharing food and drinks with an infected person.

In adults, oral herpes is relatively benign and extremely common, but the opposite can be said for newborns.

If a newborn contracts the virus, it can be fatal. Claire Henderson learned that the hard way. When her newborn, Brooke, came down with a high fever, Henderson took the baby to the hospital just to be extra careful.

It's a good thing she did: Doctors diagnosed the child with the oral herpes virus and immediately began treatment. Fortunately, Henderson caught the illness early enough to save her baby's life.

Still, she was so shaken up by the experience, she posted a Facebook message warning other parents to be extra careful about whom they let near their babies, especially if the baby is under 3 months old.

She 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 [three] days and have got another [two] 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 [percent] 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.

It's scary to think something as simple as a kiss from a stranger could harm a baby, but it's true.

Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know... COLD SORES CAN BE FATAL FOR A BABY. Before 3 months... Posted by Claire Henderson on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

So heed Henderson's advice (limit contact between your baby and strangers), and if you're extra concerned, get familiar with the warning signs. Early detection could save your baby's life.

Citations: Mom's Shocking Facebook Photos Reveal the Dangers of Letting Strangers Kiss Your Baby (Cosmopolitan)