We again urge reading parents to not let people kiss your babies on the mouth (or on the eyes or nose) as oral herpes is highly contagious, and catastrophic for young babies who contract the virus.
See this previous article detailing more about sweet Mariana's story, and why kissing babies on the lips is so risky, unless you have been tested and know that you are negative for this virus. The World Health Organization reports that 67% of the population (2 out of every 3 people) have oral herpes (HSV-1) whether they know that they do or not. Even without an open cold sore, herpes can be transferred from a well meaning adult to your baby through a kiss on the mouth (or eyes or nose).
One excellent way to avoid unwanted affection that puts your baby at risk is to select a wrap or carrier before your baby's birth, and wear your baby. This keeps baby close to his/her parents, in a newborn's natural habitat (mom's chest, or near dad's beating heart), allows a baby to be soothed, nursed on cue, held up at eye level for regular interaction, and keeps others' hands and mouths away from your little one.
Local news excerpt:
A West Des Moines infant has passed away 10 days after being hospitalized after coming in contact with someone with a cold sore.
“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” Nicole Sifrit posted on her Facebook page Tuesday morning, “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.”
Mariana was born a health baby girl on July 1st. Six days later her parents left their wedding early to take her to Blank Children’s Hospital when she stopped eating and couldn’t wake up. Doctors told Nicole and her husband, Shane, that Mariana had contracted Meningitis HSV-1. It’s likely someone with a cold sore kissed or handled Mariana, spreading the virus that is incredibly common for adults to have.
“I always thought this stuff happens and it’s a shame, and never thought it would happen to me,” Nicole told us last week, “I was not prepared at all. Keep your babies isolated. Don’t let just anyone come visit them. 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.”
Nicole with Baby Mariana shortly after her birth
Week old baby on life support with herpes virus (cold sore kiss)
Cold sore prevention and treatment for kids
CNN Report on Baby Mariana