New mom Claire Henderson was getting a lot of visitors that wanted to squeeze her baby's cheeks and kiss it right on the lips (what?). Little did she know, one of those adults with boundary issues was carrying HSV-1 otherwise known as The Herp (herpes).
Her baby contracted the virus and ended up in the hospital. Here's Henderson's Facebook post:
Most adults carry HSV-1, even if they're not regularly breaking out with cold sores. If you are an adult who shows visual evidence of the virus, you know it's annoying, though it's very rarely serious in a healthy adult. The same isn't true for newborn babies, who have undeveloped immune systems. Henderson's post above reads:
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.
OMG! Do NOT let anyone kiss your newborn with their gross mouth, especially anyone who might be running for president. You have no idea where they've been, but it's definitely somewhere disgusting.
Fortunately, spreading HSV-1 to a baby by kissing it on the mouth seems to be a rare occurrence, but since we don't know exactly how high the risk is, it seems smart to err on the side of caution and kiss those tiny baby feet instead. Spread the word, not The Herp.