Almost 50% of the population has a virus that could be fatal for a brand new baby
When a friend or family member has a new baby, our first instinct is to thank God and the next is to grab our keys and rush to that hospital to shower mom, dad, and the newborn in kisses. But we forget how fragile and susceptible to germs newborns really are, having been protected in their mother’s womb for months.
Sadly, this week, the death of a tiny 18-day-old baby, Mariana Sifrit, from a simple kiss reminded us all of what can happen when we let our emotions trump sense and precaution.
When Mariana was born on the 1st of July, her parents, Nicole and Shane, were full of hope for a wonderful future as a family. The parents were married six days later but during the celebration the newlyweds weren’t able to rouse Mariana and she was refusing any milk. The anxious parents went straight to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa to be told that their tiny baby had contracted meningitis as a result of HSV-1, or more commonly, a Herpes virus that leads to cold sores.
Doctors explained to the parents, who both tested negative for the virus, that Mariana had likely contracted the virus after a visitor passed it on to her with a kiss — that simple gesture of love and well-meaning. Doctors say that the visitor did not necessarily have an open cold sore but could be a carrier of the virus. As her mom explains: “They touch her and then she touches her mouth with her hand,” that’s enough to pass the virus on.
Once diagnosed, Mariana went straight to NICU, where her father says, “It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail.” On what should have been a day of joy ended with Mariana fighting for her life.
Mom, Nicole, posted regular updates on her Facebook account which also poignantly gave thanks to her new husband: “A huge thank you to my amazing husband who hasn’t even left my side since June 30 when he took me in for my induction. God sure knew what he was doing when he sent you to me. I’m scared to see the mess I would be without him.”
Tragically, despite her fighting spirit and the dedicated teams of medical professionals caring for her, “Princess” Mariana succumbed to the virus just 11 days later, on July 18. Her mom posted on Facebook: