New mother Charlotte Jones is warning others after her baby, Ellis, was taken to the hospital with a life-threatening case of herpes.
In a Facebook post, Jones shares some unsettling images of her baby's mouth saying doctors originally thought he had tonsilitis, then ulcers and a rash before realizing it was herpes. She says her son is pulling through, but he had a fever of 40 degrees Celcius, nasal drips, and a lot of medication to boot.
"We've been lucky and Ellis is pulling through it like a boss but for a baby with a low immune system, the outcome could be very different," writes Jones in a post we edited. "Please do not kiss a baby or toddler if you have any symptoms of a cold sore, sanitize your hands before you touch the child!"
According to the National Health Service (NHS), neonatal herpes — or herpes contracted by a baby — can be contracted before or after birth. For the sake of relevancy, we'll focus on the latter, however. They warn that if an individual has a cold sore, they could pass the infection to the baby through a kiss, and so, people should avoid kissing little bundles of joy if they have any symptoms. Since babies do not have developed immune systems, contracting the herpes virus could be lethal — but there are warning signs parents can look out for. NHS says babies who contract herpes will start to act irritable, lose their appetites, develop a fever, and develop a rash or sores. While that last symptom is the most obvious, not every baby shows that specific sign — but things can get bad quickly.
For treatment, babies are usually given an antiviral drug that's injected intravenously. However, depending on the severity, this may require several treatments over the course of a few weeks.
While this may be news for some, recently, mothers have been speaking out against individuals kissing their babies. In fact, Presley Trejo lost her baby, Emerson, who was just 12-days-old, after she the baby contracted HSV-1 — which was contracted through a kiss. She wrote a warning to parents everywhere, hoping to save even one life, and apparently, it worked when a Texas mom noticed the warning signs in her baby who fell ill. Originally, doctors misdiagnosed the illness, but after reading about Trejo's loss she spoke to doctors who were able to treat the baby properly — saving a life as a result.