Newborn dies after contracting herpes from a kiss

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The tiny newborn's immature immune system was just not equipped to deal with the virus...

It was a busy week for Nicole and Shane Sifrit of Iowa, USA. On July 1, their adorable baby girl Mariana, was born. And on July 7, Nicole and Shane got married. 

However, just a few hours into their ceremony, they noticed that something was not quite right with their precious baby. 

They left their own wedding early and took their little girl straight to the hospital as she was not eating or waking up. 

A deadly diagnosis

At Black Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, doctors told the family that their newborn had got a deadly virus called meningitis HSV-1,  according to a CNN report. 

It was explained to Nicole and Shane that Mariana most probably contracted it after being kissed by someone with a cold sore. 

“They touch her, and then she touches her mouth with her hand,” Nicole explained to WQAD. Both she and her husband Shane tested negative for the virus, meaning that this ‘kiss of death’ was from another person. 

newborn dies herpes kiss

Nicole shared daily Facebook posts on her little girl’s condition.

Rapid decline

Little Mariana’s still-developing immune system was fighting the virus as best as it could, but soon after the diagnosis, her condition deteriorated rapidly. In just a couple of hours, organ failure set in.

After this, the tiny baby couldn’t breathe on her own, so she was placed within the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Her condition worsened, so she was airlifted to another hospital. Here, she was put on life support, given blood transfusions and had fluids drained from her tiny body.

But, little Mariana was just too small to beat the deadly condition. Just a few days ago – on 18 July – the tiny fighter gave up her battle and passed away. 

She was just three weeks old. 

Nicole documented each step of her little girl’s fight with the virus on her Facebook page and on 18 July, she posted: 

“In her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns’ [lives].”

newborn dies herpes kiss

Mummy, daddy and baby girl…

Warning to all parents of newborns

As sad as this story is, it contains an important lesson for all parents: do NOT let anyone kiss your newborn

As Nicole says, “Keep your babies isolated, don’t let just anyone come visit them, and make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don’t let people kiss your baby, and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”

newborn dies herpes kiss

Rest in peace, sweet baby…

Keep these tips in mind: 

  • No one (including yourselves, probably) should kiss a newborn baby, especially on the mouth or hands. A newborn is extremely vulnerable to contracting diseases fast, as her immune system is still weak and developing. A simple cold virus transferred to a newborn could have devastating results on her health. 
  • If you get visitors coming in to visit you and your baby, remind them to wash their hands often and ask you before carrying your baby. The ideal situation would be that they do not hold your newborn at all. It’s not being rude – you’re just protecting your baby. 
  • Gently, yet firmly, request your guests not to kiss your newborn. Being direct is the best way: “Baby hasn’t had her vaccinations yet, so we are avoiding kissing her until then, because she could get really sick if she catches a bug.”
  • Try to avoid having older children visit your newborn. Those of preschool and school-going age especially, are exposed to a wide range of bugs at school, which may transfer easily to your baby. 

We at theAsianparent are devastated at the loss of this precious little life, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to baby Mariana’s family.

Rest in peace, little angel. 

All images from Nicole Sifrit’s Facebook page. 

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