Neonatal herpes is known as the “kiss of death”. But as we learned from the tragic case of baby Eibhlín Wills, the herpes virus can be passed on in different ways to an infant, even without a kiss.
Can kissing a baby cause death?
Born just two weeks earlier, the newborn had contracted the herpes simplex virus, which is most commonly known as the cause of cold sores or genital sores in adults but can be fatal to a baby, whose immune system has not fully developed. It is thought the virus must have been passed on to little Kiara by a simple kiss.
Is it OK to kiss your own baby?
No. It’s true that certain respiratory infections and bacteria may play a role in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death. But there’s no evidence to suggest that you should stop kissing your baby or stop friends and family from kissing her.
What causes the kiss of death?
It is caused by the herpes simplex virus, a highly contagious disease that can cause cold sores and genital ulcers in adults. Herpes can be very serious for a young baby, whose natural defences have not developed.
Is it OK to kiss a 6 month old baby?
“Parents must be firm with people. You cannot allow or be shy to tell people not to kiss your children. Babies are born with weak immune systems which they build up as they grow, which means that they cannot fight off germs up until a certain age,” she explains.
What is RSV in an infant?
What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in children? RSVis a viral illness that causes symptoms such as trouble breathing. It’s the most common cause of inflammation of the small airways in the lungs (bronchiolitis) and pneumonia in babies.
When is it safe to kiss a baby?
A baby is most at risk of getting a herpes infection in the first 4 weeks after birth. You should not kiss a baby if you have a cold sore to reduce the risk of spreading infection. Cold sores and other blisters caused by the herpes virus are at their most contagious when they burst.