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Visiting A Newborn Baby And HSV-1 Virus Transmission Risks

(Source: sg.theasianparent.com)

Newborns are such vulnerable little ones with weak immune systems. This is why strict rules must be put in place when visiting a newborn baby. One of these rules should definitely be that all visitors avoid kissing the baby, and if they must carry the little one, they should wash their hands well. 

One mum who recently lost her precious newborn to a suspected visitor-carried virus, has an important message for you. 

“She was 8 days old when she passed away.”  

Aliza Rose entered the world as a happy and healthy baby in May 2018. But an unfortunate incident claimed her life unexpectedly, just eight days after her birth.

Devastated by her daughter’s loss, Aliza’s mum, Abigail Rose Friend took to Facebook to post about her family tragedy.

I’m never going to stop sharing the gut wrenching, heartbreaking, soul shattering story of our sweet Aliza Rose,” Abigail posted. 

Apparently, healthy Aliza contracted the HSV-1 virus, more commonly known as the common cold sore virus. 

According to Abigail, Aliza caught the virus from someone who “touched her without washing their hands or kissed her face while being a carrier of the virus.” But it was likely that it was transmitted through a kiss.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/11/sick from herpes.jpg Mum's heartbreak as virus takes her newborn away

She started to get sick after a day and a half which was when the HSV-1 virus “attached to her spine and ate her lungs and brain.”

It was about 36 hours after her birth that Aliza first started showing symptoms. She lacked energy, was not feeding and had low blood sugar.

Things didn’t seem to look up and around the end of day two, she started to get really sick and had to be taken to another hospital. 

There’s even an account — Aliza’s Story — that was created in remembrance of Aliza and to let others know of her experience. 

Facing The Cold, Hard Truth

The little one started to have difficulties breathing so they had to put her on so many machines and tubes just to provide her with oxygen. 

“You couldn’t even tell she was a baby,” the mum said. “It literally made me sick to my stomach to see her like that.”

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/11/kiss from herpes.jpg Mum's heartbreak as virus takes her newborn away

It took the virus six and a half days to completely destroy her body. 

Eventually, the medication she was on caused the tiny baby to suffer severe seizures, causing her to become brain dead.

At 8 days old, sweet Aliza was taken off life support. On May 20, the mum recalled that she sang “You Are My Sunshine” as her little one passed away in her embrace.

Mum’s Warning To ALL

Abigail hopes to convey an important message to dads and mums.

“WASH YOUR HANDS. DO NOT KISS THE BABIES.”

She warns the public about the potential dangers of allowing family and friends to kiss infants.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/11/44136703 329921991098320 8002692831833489408 n e1541729340591.jpg Mum's heartbreak as virus takes her newborn away

Prior to this incident, Abigail had not heard of babies getting the cold sore virus and had no idea that it was fatal. 

And what’s more noteworthy is that parents can pass it on to their babies as well, according to her.

“It’s fatal until at least two weeks old and parents can pass it on to them as well!” Even for older babies sometimes.

She is clueless as to who the culprit might have been. “Anyone can be a carrier and not show signs!”

Apart from the mum herself, only her husband Tyler and a few close friends came into contact with Aliza during those first two days. 

There’s no way to ever know who gave it to her because it’s such a common virus. 

Looking back, the mum felt that she should have spoken up about being strict with “no kissing” because she didn’t want to “upset anyone”. “I think a lot of new moms feel that way”.

But she advises against it as the “consequences could be fatal”. Better be safe than sorry, mums and dads.

The mum adds: “There’s not a moment goes by that I don’t think about her. Aliza was chubby, happy, cheeky, and she’s in my thoughts every day.”

Watch the short video of Eliza and her mum here.

Visiting A Newborn Baby: Rules To Prevent HSV-1 Transmission

HSV-1 can be transmitted from oral or skin surfaces that appear normal and when there are no symptoms present, according to the World Health Organisation. However, the greatest risk of transmission is when there are active sores.

And these infections are “lifelong”. 

Here’s some quick tips for parents or anyone else to note when visiting a newborn baby: 

  • ALWAYS wash your hands before anything else.
  • Don’t visit if you or your kids are ill.
  • Wait to be offered to hold the baby, if the parents offer. DO NOT grab the baby and kiss him or her. They are very susceptible to germs, even if you feel as though you’re in tip-top condition.
  • Do not smoke before visiting. The fragile newborn can be affected by “third hand smoking“.

All images from Abigail Rose Friend’s Facebook

Source: Abigail Rose, Fox News, World Health Organisation

Also READ: 

12 Rules For Visiting A Newborn

7 signs of a highly intelligent baby to look out for

Personal, social & emotional development (PSED) for toddlers

More Info: sg.theasianparent.com

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