Claire Henderson gave birth to her daughter, Brooke, nearly a month ago, according to BuzzFeed News. When friends and family stopped by to visit the newborn, one of the visitors kissed the baby, which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time.
One night when Henderson was feeding her daughter, she noticed Brooke’s lips were swollen and she had a cold sore. Henderson immediately rushed her baby to the hospital.
One of Brooke’s visitors, who didn’t appear to have a cold sore, had transmitted the herpes simplex virus 1 to the child by kissing her.
Brooke had sores in the back of her throat and on her lips. Doctors immediately tested the child for brain and liver damage.
“If she had been left it could have easily spread and — worst case — been fatal,” Henderson told BuzzFeed News.
Dr. Bonnie Maldonado at Stanford University told BuzzFeed News that cases like Brooke’s are rare but very serious.
She explained that if a baby contracts a cold sore before they are a month old, it can lead to “severe neurological disease” or death. Maldonado added that most babies aren’t at risk because of antibodies from their mothers.
Brooke was put on an anti-viral drip for five days and has recovered.
Henderson decided to put out a Facebook warning to all mothers, letting them know that cold sores can be deadly for babies.
Since she posted the warning, it has been shared more than 40,000 times.