Health hazard: "Herpes kiss" almost killed one-year-old baby

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Almost killed by a kiss: Baby fought for her life because of herpes

In the UK, a one-year-old baby almost died because of a kiss that infected herpes viruses. The child had to be hospitalized for four days. Parents are now warning other people against kissing toddlers' mouths.

Little girl had purple rashes everywhere

A one-year-old girl from the northern English city of Darlington almost died because she was infected with herpes viruses. At first, it was not clear to the parents what their child was missing. "Kaylah was crying so much, I knew it could only mean that she was in pain," the mother told the Daily Mail newspaper. "We were at home and I was about to put her in the bath when I suddenly saw marks on her legs." According to the information, the baby had purple rashes everywhere. "I was afraid, my first thought was that it had something to do with meningitis because she had it before," said the mother. However, in the hospital it turned out that the child had been infected with herpes viruses.

Two out of three people are infected with herpes viruses

Health experts say two out of three people are infected with herpes viruses.

But most people who contract it never show symptoms and are unlikely to know they are infected. Therefore cold sores are often transmitted unnoticed.

The viruses often only become active due to certain influences such as stress or strong sunlight and lead, among other things, to herpes in the mouth.

Some people need to be extra careful. Adults with cold sores should be very careful when contacting young children.

Because even a kiss from them can be fatal to babies, as an older case from the United States showed.

The little Kaylah from England was also brought into a life-threatening situation.

Infection could have been fatal

As the Daily Mail report says, doctors at the hospital found that the painful purple rash on little Kaylah was caused by the herpes simplex virus.

"The doctors told us that someone with a cold sore must have kissed them on the lips and because babies' immune systems are not strong enough, they developed the rash," said the 22-year-old mother.

Her fiance was shocked and "couldn't believe that it was all just because of a kiss."

The little girl had to stay in the hospital for four days where she was treated with antibiotics.

The doctors pointed out that the baby was lucky that the infection could have been fatal.

"If we hadn't gone to the hospital quickly, it could have been very dangerous if we could have lost her," said the young mother.

According to the parents, their daughter has still not fully recovered. A month after she left the clinic, she still had to take medication daily and be taken to the doctor once a week.

Parents warning

Little Kaylah's parents are now turning to the public to warn other people of the risk.

"I just want other parents to know that you don't have to be physically ill to harm a baby - you can only be a carrier of the virus and still influence it," the mother said.

According to the newspaper report, the virus can be transmitted to infants either by kissing or by the mother in newborns if they have had genital herpes for the first time in the last six weeks of pregnancy.

The risk is significantly reduced if she had it before pregnancy because she passed on the antibodies needed to fight it.

It is not the first time that parents, many of whom have lost their babies, have issued a warning that strangers must not kiss the little ones.

"Please don't kiss other people's babies," said Marian Nicholson of the Herpes Viruses Association.

Treat herpes as early as possible

If the infection is known, health professionals advise adults to treat cold sores as early as possible. But what helps against herpes?

In the normal course, drugs are often used to inhibit virus multiplication. However, the infection does not always have to be treated with antiviral drugs.

Sometimes home remedies for herpes, such as manuka honey or tea tree oil, are sufficient. It can take up to two weeks from the outbreak of the herpes to the healing. (ad)

Author and source information

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