Mum Claire Henderson took to Facebook to warn other parents of the dangers of cold sores after her newborn baby was struck down with the potentially fatal herpes infection after being kissed by someone with the virus.
The little girl spent 3 days in hospital on a drip and a further 2 days under observation, after her mum’s friend recognised the signs of the virus and told Claire to rush her to A&E.
Claire now wants to make sure every parent realises just how dangerous cold sores can be to young children.
“Before 3 months old a baby cannot fight the herpes virus,” she said on Facebook. “If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death. I know this sounds like I am scaremongering but if my friend had not told me about this my baby girl could have been very seriously ill.”
“I noticed the signs early and got her to A&E, we have now been in hospital on a drip for 3 days and have got another 2 to go. She was VERY lucky, all her tests came back clear.”
The mum has asked that people share her post to raise awareness and it’s already been shared over 38,000 times.
So what is the herpes simplex virus, and why is it so dangerous for babies?
Some people are prone to cold sores and get them regularly. They appear as small blisters on the lips or around the mouth, and in adults, usually clear up without treatment in around 7 to 10 days.
Some sufferers usually get a tingle or itching around their mouths before the spots appear, while others have no symptoms until the blister forms.
However, the blisters happen after you are infected with the herpes simplex virus, so you will not know you have it until the sore appears, and they are highly contagious.
While adults usually manage to fight off the infection, for babies it can be potentially fatal because their immune systems are not as robust and it can damage their liver and brain.
What should you do if you think you have a cold sore?
The NHS advises that if you have a cold sore you should avoid close contact and you should never kiss a newborn baby if there is even the slightest possibility that you may have one.
This story has a happy ending and we’re pleased to report baby Brooke is now fully recovered and back at home.
Pictures: Claire Henderson/Facebook