A concerned mum has issued a warning to others after her young son contracted ‘life-threatening’ herpes as a result of being kissed by someone with a cold sore.
Charlotte Jones took to Facebook to share details of her son Ellis’s ordeal, explaining the one-year-old is currently in hospital for the herpes, type 1, virus.
The family’s GP first believed the toddler had tonsillitis, then they thought it might have been a bad case of ulcers combined with a rash. However, his condition quickly deteriorated and within days he was diagnosed with herpes.
Charlotte described herself as ‘devastated’ at the revelation and is encouraging people to help raise awareness for the issue.
People really don’t realise how a kiss or a touch from someone with a cold sore can be life threatening for a little body.
The mum explained Ellis had experienced temperatures reaching 40°, and said his treatment included nasal drips, two cannulas, two lots of bloods and numerous medications.
The youngster couldn’t eat any food for over a week, and he had ‘barely any juice via bottle’.
Charlotte shared images of her son’s deteriorating condition, from Ellis looking healthy and playing on a bike in the first image to his chapped, sore-looking lips in the final picture.
Thankfully Ellis is said to be ‘pulling through it like a boss’, though Charlotte warned the outcome could be very different for a baby with a low immune system. Ellis’s lips are now ‘on the mend’ but Charlotte pointed out he still has a long way to go.
Charlotte added a plea to her followers, writing:
Please do not kiss a baby or toddler if you have any symptoms of a cold sore, sanitize your hands before you touch the child!
Neonatal herpes, aka herpes infection in a young baby, can be very serious. According to the NHS, the younger the baby, the more vulnerable they are to the harmful effects of infection.
The virus can be passed on during pregnancy and labour if the mother had genital herpes for the first time within the last six weeks of her pregnancy, or after birth if a person has a cold sore and kisses the baby.
Warning signs of infection can include the child being lethargic or irritable, not feeding, having high temperature or having rash or sores on the skin, eyes and inside the mouth.
Earlier this year we reported on baby Noah, who was left fighting for his life after being kissed at a christening.
The virus is treated with antiviral drugs which are given intravenously, directly into the baby’s vein.
Hopefully Ellis will make a full and fast recovery but his story should certainly be used as a warning.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.