21-month-old baby contracts Herpes virus from mum's own kiss

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The baby had fever, and blisters started to emerge on her back and near her mouth...

Is it OK to kiss babies? Yes they are super kissable and huggable, but kissing babies especially on the mouth or face, can carry huge health risks for them, as one mother learnt the hard way. 

A mother’s recent post on Facebook warns other parents about the risks of kissing babies, highlighting the dangers of a common infection. The baby, who was kissed by her mum, had developed symptoms of a herpes simplex virus infection. Now, this mummy wants you to learn from her nasty experience. 

kiss baby on mouth feat  21 month old baby contracts Herpes virus from mum's own kiss

There are hidden dangers when it comes to kissing your babies. | Image Source: Stock Photo

The Post by Mommy Rachel

According to mummy Rachel Faith Badong-Sebastian’s story, her 21-month-old daughter, Sky, developed a fever on Monday night. The day after, her daughter appeared normal – excited and playful. But by nightfall her fever came back. 

Rachel gave her daughter a paracetamol tablet. The medication managed to lower her fever, but it rose back up again later.

Ms Badong-Sebastian then decided to message her paediatrician. The doctor advised Sky to undergo urinalysis and a complete blood count – tests that doctors perform to diagnose an infection.

However, Sky’s parents were not able to bring the child to the hospital since both had work the following day. They planned on bringing the child if fever was persistent.

Herpes simplex virus symptoms 1 360x480 21 month old baby contracts Herpes virus from mum's own kiss

You can clearly see that baby Sky had a few red blisters near her lips. | Image Source: Facebook

Is it OK to kiss babies? A lesson learned

Noticing all this, Sky’s worried parents brought her to the Emergency room of the hospital. There, medical professionals initially diagnosed her with Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease (HFMD). They told the parents to watch for blisters to form on Sky’s palms—a tell-tale sign of HFMD.

But when the rashes did not spread, the pediatrician gave the grim final diagnosis: Sky contracted herpes simplex virus. He goes on to explain that the virus can be transmitted from saliva when people kiss.

The paediatrician added that adults could have had the illness, but they might not show the symptoms of the viral infection because a strong immune system. On the contrary, children’s immune systems haven’t matured yet, and they can suffer from a Herpes infection.

Baby Sky needed to be admitted to a hospital, where staff ensured that she was rehydrated because she was losing weight rapidly.

Herpes simplex virus symptoms 2 360x480 21 month old baby contracts Herpes virus from mum's own kiss

Fortunately, baby sky was rehydrated in the hospital and is up and about as usual! | Image Source: Facebook

Mummy Rachel reminds other parents in her Facebook post of the whole incident: “Lesson learned. When I was still pregnant with Sky, I read about this diseases passed to babies, that’s why I was so careful not letting people kiss my baby. But as it turns out, I was not as vigilant as I thought. The effect of the virus is really severe on kids.”

She added: “This serves as a reminder to always wash hands and sanitize before holding babies. And do not let people kiss your child on the face. Kiss only the child’s hair, back, or feet.”  

Symptoms of the Herpes Simplex Virus

There are many diseases that can spread by kissing – Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is only just one of them. Read this article to find out what other diseases babies can contract via kissing.

The following are the symptoms of the herpes simplex virus type 1:

  • rashes scattered over the lips, mouth, and gums 
  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • irritability
  • fatigue or tiredness

Not all of these symptoms may appear, or appear in a milder form if they do. It is important to carefully observe the child for an accurate diagnosis – especially if the child is less than 6 months old, as their immune system hasn’t matured. Symptoms of herpes simplex virus usually appear 2 to 12 days after initial infection.

This article about the Herpes Simplex Virus was translated by Kevin Wijaya Oey and republished with the permission of the theAsianparent Phillipines.

References: TAP Phillipines

Also Read:

“Please don’t kiss my baby”

Kissing babies on their lips could cause dental problems

New mums take heed: Do not let anyone kiss your newborn!