This Mom's Viral Post Shows Why You Should Think Twice Before Kissing A Baby

When you see your friend's adorable baby, your first instinct, understandably, is probably to hug and kiss her all over. However, you might want to think twice before smooching a baby — particularly if you happen to have a cold sore.

New mom Amy Stinton was concerned when her baby, Oliver, suddenly broke out in rashes on his body. Thinking Oliver had a case of the chicken pox, she took him to the doctor, only to find out that he had in fact contracted herpes.

On her Facebook page, Stinton posted a photo of the rashes, warning, "think before you kiss a baby next time." Though she wrote in a comment that there's "no point in blaming people," she says that the outbreak likely came about because someone with a cold sore kissed her baby. At the time of this writing, her post has been shared close to 5,000 times.
"This is what happens [to] babies when [they've] been in contact with a cold sore," she writes in the caption. "Oliver now has the herpes virus and will have this for life."

Herpes is a very common virus. About 70% of all adults in the U.S. have type 1 of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), the type that is most often associated with oral cold sore outbreaks. (Though herpes simplex virus type 2, associated with genital sores, can cause sores on the face as well.) Both types of the virus spread via skin-to-skin contact, often through sexual contact or kissing. Although rare, babies can indeed contract herpes from contact with someone who has cold sores.

There is no cure for herpes, but outbreaks can be treated with medications that relieve pain and discomfort — and help prevent new outbreaks as well. In other words, for adults, herpes is a manageable disease, for the most part.

But for babies, the consequences can be severe. Young children's immune systems haven't had the chance to develop as much as adults' immune systems, so babies are much more susceptible to severe outbreaks and dangerous symptoms. For infants, the virus can even spread to the liver, lungs, and brain.

As Stinton notes, Oliver had to be hospitalized for four days and put on an IV drip. However, she reports in a comment on the post that he's "still very, very sore but better in himself."
This isn't the first time a mother's warning has gone viral in relation to the herpes virus being a particular threat for babies. In September of last year, Claire Henderson also posted a photo of her baby to Facebook, after the child contracted herpes from a kiss from a visitor.

Stinton's latest post serves as a vital reminder: Kissing that baby may seem harmless, but if you have a cold sore, you should refrain (as irresistible as it may seem).

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