Who knew that kissing a baby could have such devastating consequences?
UK mum, Amy Stinton, has shared a photo of her 14-month-old son, Oliver, suffering from the herpes virus.
Doctors have said he probably picked it up after coming into contact with someone who had a cold sore.
Stinton says Oliver has always has eczema. But last Monday, when he had a worse rash than usual and seemed unwell, she took him to the doctor. Oliver was prescribed steroid cream. The following day, when the rash looked even worse, the doctor sent him to hospital.
Stinton was then told her son had the herpes virus. The virus can be extremely dangerous to babies.
“We were told if we’d left it to Wednesday morning, he’d have been in intensive care,” Stinton told the Daily Mail Online. “It would’ve attacked his vital organs.”
Oliver was put on antibiotics and antiviral drugs.
After several days in hospital on a drip, his condition improved but Stinton and her husband will have to always be vigilant, in case the virus flares up again.
“It’s frustrating that it’s completely out of our control and he’s going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life,” Stinton says.
She posted a photo of Oliver on Facebook and wrote: “This is what happens 2 babies when been in contact with a coldsore. Oliver now has the herpes virus and will have this for life. Think before you kiss a baby next time.”
Her friends commented about similar experiences they’d had with their babies.
“My little girl got this and is exactly the same,” one said. “Her arms blister up randomly and she loses her little fingernail every time it comes back. It’s so dangerous for babies!”
Another wrote about her child, now 12, having contracted the virus when she was 18-months-old. “It grew in her throat, too, so watch out with that. She gets cold sores so bad now whenever she’s tired, feeling down, lack of vitamins.”
The post has been shared more than 5000 times.
Stinton doesn’t know who Oliver got the herpes virus from. She wrote on Facebook that there was no point blaming anyone.
“I just want to make people aware,” she added.
Cold sores have been known to kill babies. In November 2014, a newborn baby in Queensland died after being diagnosed with a herpes simplex virus.
At the time, Professor Cheryl Jones from the children’s hospital at Westmead said babies could contract the herpes virus after birth if they were kissed by someone who had an active cold sore or were handled by someone who had herpes on their fingers.
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