A newborn baby has died Tuesday after contracting viral meningitis caused by HSV-1 from something as simple as a kiss on the lips. The virus is commonly known as the herpes virus that causes cold sores.
“I always thought this stuff that happens is a shame and never thought it would happen to me and was not prepared at all,” Shane Sifrit said.
One week ago he and his wife Nicole shared their unthinkable story, as their new born baby Mariana fought for her life.
Tuesday morning at just 18 days old, Mariana passed away.
Nicole shared the sad update in a post on Facebook saying in part “she is no longer suffering and is with the lord.
Doctors in Iowa said Mariana contracted viral meningitis one week after she was born.
“We noticed she had stopped eating and wasn’t waking up when we were trying to get her to respond,” Nicole said.
The exact symptoms, doctors say, a newborn with this illness would experience.
"Infants, typically when they with meningitis are sleepy, not feeding well, and just a change in their general demeanor,” Dr. Jennifer Squires explained.
How she got it? Likely from a kiss.
“HSV is spread through oral-to-oral contact, so not letting people kiss your baby on the mouth. Having them kiss the feet or touch the feet instead, is a much safer way for people to have contact with newborns,” Dr. Squires said.
Though doctors say this is an extremely rare case, they warn that cold sores don’t have to present to spread the virus. Saliva can also carry the infection.
“I think it’s something to at least be cautious about,” said Dr. Squires.
Mariana’s parents both tested negative for the HSV-1 virus.