LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Don't Kiss Newborn Babies: Grieving Mom Whose Baby Son Died After Catching Herpes From Someone's Cold Sore Warns Other Parents

Date November 27, 2018 17:43

Autumn’s tragic loss

Autumn Jones, a young mom from Texas, is devastated by the loss of her beloved baby son Raiden. What makes his death even more heartbreaking is the fact that it could have been prevented.

According to Autumn’s post on Facebook, Raiden was a happy and healthy baby. Apparently, someone infected with HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores, kissed the boy and passed on the virus to him. Unfortunately, the boy died, and only his postmortem revealed that it was indeed the HSV-1 infection that killed him.

Racked with grief, Raiden’s mom took to Facebook and wrote a post, warning other parents not to let people kiss their babies.

READ ALSO: Kiss Of Death: 18-Day-Old Baby Dies After Being Exposed To Meningitis At A Wedding

Other tragic cases of babies who died from herpes virus infection

Unfortunately, Raiden’s case is not unique. It’s not exactly clear how many babies die after being infected with herpes virus, but a number of such cases are reported every year.

A year ago, People reported a tragic story of Nicole and Shane Sifrit who lost their 18-day-old daughter to HSV-1 infection just eleven days after their wedding.

9Honey wrote about Jessica and Angus Buchanan, a Sydney couple whose newborn son Jack died after he contracted the virus, and about UK parents Sarah Higson and James de Malplaquet who lost their 13-day-old son Kit to HSV-1.

All of these cases have something in common: all babies were younger than one month. Also, in all of these cases parents and doctors didn’t know how babies came into contact with the deadly virus.

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READ ALSO: Dangers Of Slapped Cheek Syndrome: Young Mom Posts A Heartbreaking Warning After She Lost Her Unborn Baby To This Little-Known Infection

Can a baby catch the virus from cold sores and what can it lead to?

It’s estimated that more than half of all people have been infected with herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), the virus that causes cold sores. About one in six people have been infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes. Many people infected with either strain live without knowing they’ve been infected, as the virus doesn’t always cause sores and other signs and symptoms.

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Herpes viruses usually don’t cause major trouble for healthy adults, but both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be deadly to babies, especially in the first month of life. Because a baby’s immune system hasn’t matured, it can’t fight off the virus. If a baby becomes infected with the virus, the infection can cause damage of the brain and other vital organs and even death.

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According to a study published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, transmission of herpes simplex virus to babies happens during delivery in 85% of cases. 5 percent of infected babies catch it while still in the womb, and the remaining 10 percent catch the virus after birth from someone with an active infection. These 10 percent include contact with cold sores.

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What parents can do to protect their babies from herpes viruses

To protect newborn babies and babies who are still in the womb, the following can help, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center:

  1. If you are pregnant and you’ve developed genital sores, tell your doctor about it. If the virus is active late in the term, your doctor will recommend delivery through C-section.
  2. If your partner has genital herpes and you’re pregnant, refrain from having sex with him, even with a condom.
  3. If a friend or relative is visiting, make sure they wash their hands before touching or holding your baby.
  4. People with cold sores and those who had cold sores in the previous week shouldn’t touch or kiss babies.
  5. Don’t take your baby to crowded public places in the first few months of his (or her) life – it can lower the risk of contact with herpes virus and other germs.

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Although it’s not always possible to protect our precious little ones from everything that may harm them, you can do your best to lower the risks!

READ ALSO: Don't Let People Kiss Your Baby: Woman Shares The Photos Of Her Sick Baby To Warn Other Parents


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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