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Newborn Nearly Dies After Catching Herpes From "Kiss Of Death"

Lucy Kendall/Facebook

When an expectant mother delivers her baby, her first thought is to make sure her newborn has a bill of perfect health.

When new parents take their newborns home with them, they're on their toes to make sure their child is getting exactly what they need to grow up to be healthy, happy and strong.

While all kids get sick during their childhoods, moms and dads don't expect them to fall ill immediately after their birth.

But that's what happened to a 11-day-old newborn from East Yorkshire, England.

"The condition is known as the kiss of death and it was just devastating for us all."

Lucy Kendall, 23, grew concerned that her son Oliver was less than two weeks old when he stopped feeding and began arching his back in pain.

She and her partner Jaz Miller rushed Oliver to the hospital, where he was placed in the High Dependency Unit and a heated bed with oxygen.

Doctors ran several tests, and the newborn needed a feeding tube and had several cannulas inserted into his tiny body.

After eight days, doctors diagnosed Oliver with the herpes simplex virus.

"As you can imagine we were just shocked and couldn't comprehend what had just been said," Kendall told Hull Daily Mail.

"The doctor began to explain the herpes simplex virus-1 can be passed onto a newborn baby if a person has a cold sore and kisses the baby or touches the baby after touching the cold sore."

"Cold sores are at their most contagious when they burst, but they remain contagious until completely healed. It was just absolutely dreadful."

"Both of us didn't have herpes or cold sores, we were just heartbroken."

"The condition is known as the kiss of death and it was just devastating for us all."

"It has been the most traumatic time of my life."

After 21 days, Oliver was released into his parents' care, but must be on be on antibiotics for the next six months and undergo further testing.

"It has been the most traumatic time of my life, especially with me being a new parent as well," Kendall explained.

"Having your first baby is scary enough, never mind having to go through all this."

Neonatal herpes is extremely dangerous for newborns - which oftentimes proves to be fatal - since their immune systems have not fully developed to fight off the virus.

"One in three babies can die if they contract the virus, it is so dangerous and people need to be aware of it more," Kendall said.

"My message is to please respect newborn babies and stay away if you have a cold sore."

"We are the lucky ones. A few hours later this could have been so different. Keep your babies safe."

Warning Symptoms

According to the New York State Department Of Health, there are critical signs parents should watch out for if they suspect their newborn has become infected with herpes.

The little ones may only show mild symptoms at first, such as low grade fever (100.4 degrees F. or higher), poor feeding, high-pitched cry, and one or more blisters.

These can occur 12 days after a newborn is exposed to the virus, and should be seen by a doctor immediately.

They can also develop more severe symptoms such as a high fever and seizures, and may become lethargic (floppy).

However, there are ways parents can prevent their children from catching the potentially fatal illness.

If an expectant mother has had a history or signs and symptoms of genital HSV-2 infection, they must tell their physician, who will most likely recommend they have a C-section delivery if they have a herpes outbreak near their due date.

Everyone should wash their hands before they touch the infant, and never kiss them if you have a core sore on either your lips or mouth.

[H/T: Hull Daily Mail, New York State Department Of Health]

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