Don't let visitors kiss your newborn baby

accreditation
Claire Henderson via Buzzfeed

Cold sores (fever blisters) are common and though they can be painful and annoying, they don't generally pose a danger to your health. They're caused by the herpes virus (herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2) which, once introduced to the body, will remain there for life. There is no cure for herpes but the blisters can be treated.

If you are prone to cold sores, you'll know how contagious they are. And yet, some well-meaning visitor to Claire Henderson and her newborn baby girl kissed little Brooke – on the mouth. At the time of the visit, Claire's friend didn't appear to have a fever blister, but cold sores are contagious at any stage of the outbreak, from the first tingling or burning sensation around the lips, to after the last scab disappears. Saliva also carries the virus.

When Brooke's lips and face broke out in blisters, Claire rushed her to the hospital. As fate would have it, just a few months prior Brooke's birth, Claire's friend shared with her an article highlighting the dangers that cold sores pose to a tiny baby. So she didn't take any chances, and a good thing it was too. Brooke was immediately tested for brain or liver damage, but thankfully all tests came back clear. She still had to spend 5 days on a drip.

Although it's very rare for a baby to contract neurological damage from herpes, Brooke's case has highlighted how important it is to warn all visitors to not kiss baby in the face, and if the well wisher suspects a cold sore outbreak at all, to please stay away for 2 weeks.

On 16 September Claire decided to raise awareness and warn her Facebook friends, but it quickly went viral and on 25 September, her post had already been shared nearly 38,000 times:


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1287 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
51% - 6422 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
35% - 4469 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 432 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.24
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.82
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.78
-0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.54
-0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,789.14
-0.2%
Silver
20.31
-1.4%
Palladium
2,289.00
+1.5%
Platinum
960.50
+1.5%
Brent Crude
97.40
+1.1%
Top 40
64,617
+2.3%
All Share
71,265
+2.1%
Resource 10
65,851
+2.1%
Industrial 25
87,063
+2.8%
Financial 15
15,964
+1.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE