A mum has urged people on Facebook to think twice before they kiss a baby, after her son contracted the herpes virus.
Amy Stinton, from Portsmouth, shared photos of her 14-month-old son Oliver’s legs and feet, which are covered in a red rash.
“This is what happens to babies when they’ve been in contact with a cold sore,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Oliver now has the herpes virus and will have this for life. Think before you kiss a baby next time.”
Stinton said after she saw the rash, she and her husband took their son straight to the doctor.
“The scariest part was that we went to our doctor and were sent straight to the hospital, but we were told if we’d left it to [the morning after], he’d have been in intensive care,” Stinton told Daily Mail. “It would’ve attacked his vital organs.”
Oliver was diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus. His symptoms are manageable now and he is on antibiotics and antiviral medication.
Cold sores are raised and oozing sores or blisters on or close to the lips or inside the mouth, which are caused by a strain of herpes simplex viruses (HSVs). In most cases, these facial sores are caused by the HSV type 1 (HSV-1) strain.
In a newborn, herpes viruses can cause severe infections, as well as brain, lung and liver disease, or skin and eye sores.
In September 2015, another mother shared a photo of her daughter after she had contracted herpes through someone’s cold sore.
Claire Henderson from Doncaster wrote: “Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know. Cold sores can be fatal for a baby.”
At the time, Dr Helen Webberley, GP for www.oxfordonlinepharmacy.co.uk confirmed that the Herpes virus can be extremely dangerous.
She told The Huffington Post UK: “Herpes can cause cold sores, genital sores, shingles and chicken pox. These are very dangerous to newborns and if anyone has any of these active infections then they should be very careful when handling newborn babies.
“If the virus gets into the blood stream it can go to the brain and cause a fatal type of meningitis.”
Webberley explained that sufferers of herpes simplex (cold sores and genital sores) can spread the virus even when they don’t have active cold sores.
She added: “It is essential to be vigilant for any signs of a new baby being unwell, look out for a raised temperature, the baby becoming floppy, or off its feed. Is the baby quiet, difficult to wake up or generally ‘not right’?
“If you have any concerns seek medical advice as soon as possible.”