Babies are adorable in nature. More often than not, people have to almost bite their tongue to prevent themselves from showering the little one with kisses. Kissing a newborn child is considered to be a regular occurrence, but in a surprising twist, it turns out it can gravely harm the baby. Who would have ever thought? In a bid to raise awareness, a mother from Don Caster, England, decided to post on Facebook in an update that got over 3000 likes and 1200 comments. Here is an ordeal by Rhian Brace about her son Ernie’s fight with the herpes simplex virus.
What started as a small blister at the back of Ernie’s head, would end up being a potentially life-threatening situation. From her Facebook post, Rhian said that in every other aspect, her son was healthy. His temperatures were fine, there was no nappy rash, and he fed as usual. The only indication he was unwell was a small blister that had appeared at the back of his head.
The concerned mom took her son to the hospital, only to be told that she had nothing to worry about as her son only had eczema. Her heart now at peace, she went home with Ernie and cleaned the infected area to prevent the blisters from spreading. Her worry-free moment was short-lived, as barely three days later, more blisters appeared. This time, six of them. Worried that the first diagnosis was wrong, Rhian called the doctors for a second opinion.
It was then that she was told Ernie had contracted the cold sores medically referred to as the herpes simplex virus. Baby Ernie was put on IV medication for two weeks and for the next six months he was to be on oral medication. The confused mother couldn’t understand how her weeks-old son could have contracted the virus. From a later Facebook post, Rhian said that her son was recovering well. The doctors had told her that the only way to be sure the virus had been completely killed, was to wait until his first birthday. This diagnosis would be dependent on if Ernie had shown any symptoms of the virus before then.
The herpes simplex virus is a common occurrence among adults, and they generally handle it well, with some not realizing they have it at all. How common is it among neonatal babies? According to qualified infection specialists, it is a rare occurrence with only one in every 2500 neonatal getting infected. It mostly occurs in babies less than a month old and its effects can be fatal.
While it is possible for babies to get infected through exposure to cold sores, the most common mode of transmission is through the female reproductive tract. The best way to fight off the infection is through early diagnosis and treatment with antiviral medicine.
Babies are mostly delicate the first weeks after birth. They are also more exposed during this period, due to the many visitors they receive. It is impossible, but measures could be taken to minimize the risk of exposure. Rhian was surprised at the significant support she received online and was relieved that her boy Ernie was doing just fine. How often do you allow visitors to kiss your newborn?