Recently, a new mother named Claire Henderson in Doncaster, England got a horrible shock. A perfect stranger gave her newborn daughter an innocent kiss on the lips – but the stranger was carrying the herpes simplex virus.
As a result the infant had to spend five days in the hospital with nasty cold sores that could have lead to liver damage, brain damage or even death. Infants have no ability to fight the herpes virus. Fortunately, the baby is fine now, but Henderson is making it her mission to warn other new mothers not to let anyone kiss their baby on the lips. Rightfully so. She has used social media to tell the story of how her baby was on an IV drip for three days and spent an additional two days in the hospital being monitored.
Henderson noticed the cold sores on her baby early after they appeared and went to the emergency room immediately, and if she hadn’t, fatal meningitis could have developed. Good thing Mom acted fast! Many adults have the herpes virus, and the strain that Henderson’s baby contracted would have been harmless to any older person. But to an infant it was debilitating.
Babies under six weeks have a poorly developed immune system and can’t combat this virus, or really any virus. Henderson says that she doesn’t want mothers to panic, but she does want them to know the risks of baby-lip-kissing-strangers and their nasty illnesses.