THESE horrific photos show how a toddler nearly died from a stranger’s kiss.
Charlotte Jones’ is warning other parents to be vigilant after her little boy Ellis contracted life-threatening herpes.
It’s through the virus was passed onto the one-year-old, from Abergavenny, Wales, when he was kissed by someone with a cold sore.
Charlotte said she took Ellis to the GP when he first started feeling unwell and the doctor thought he had tonsillitis or a bad case of ulcers.
But within days his condition had quickly deteriorated and he was soon diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV-1.
It isn’t harmful to adults but can prove fatal for babies, with weaker immune systems.
The virus can spread quickly to babies’ brains and cause multiple organ failure, and ultimately death.
Ellis had to be taken to hospital to fight the life-threatening virus
The mum posted a series of stark pictures showing the toddler’s condition as he deteriorated as a warning to others.
Writing on Facebook, she said:”People really don’t realise how a kiss or a touch from someone with a cold sore can be life threatening for a little body.
“With temperatures reaching 40° nasal drips and two cannulas, two lots of bloods and numerous medication, no food for over a week and barely any juice via bottle.
“We’ve been lucky and Ellis is pulling through it like a boss, but for a baby with a low immune system the outcome could be very different.”
Ellis added: “Please do not kiss a baby or toddler if you have any symptoms of a cold sore, sanitise your hands before you touch the child!
“In a week Ellis’s lips have changed so much, hes still got a way to go yet but is on the mend.”
THE SIGNS YOUR BABY HAS CAUGHT HERPES…
THE younger the baby, the more vulnerable they are to the herpes virus.
HSV-1 is highly contagious and causes cold sores and genital ulcers in adults.
It can prove fatal for babies, especially newborns, whose immune systems haven’t fully developed.
While devastating, the condition is rare in the UK.
A baby is at greatest risk of catching the virus in the first four weeks of life, and it can be passed on in one of two main ways:
1. During pregnancy and labour
If mum has genital herpes for the first time in the last six weeks of pregnancy, her baby is at risk.
As a result, you should never kiss a baby if you have, or recently have had, a cold sore.
It’s possible for a mum to pass the infection on during vaginal delivery.
2. After birth
The virus can be passed to a baby through a cold sore if someone affected kisses a baby.
It can also be passed via blisters on the breast of a mum, who has HSV-1, and is feeding.
What are the warning signs your baby has herpes?
Call your GP or health visitor straight away if your baby:
- is lethargic or irritable
- is not feeding
- has a high temperature
- has a rash or sores on the skin, eyes and inside the mouth
The early warning signs your baby is unwell – call 999 if your baby:
- is lacking energy and is listless
- is becoming flopping and unresponsive
- is difficult to wake up from a sleep
- has breathing difficulties or starts grunting
- breathes rapidly
- has a blue tongue or skin
To find out more visit the NHS website here.
Herpes is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus, which causes painful blisters on the mouth or on the genitals, and is passed on by sexual contact.
It is a chronic long-term condition, which can become active again.
There are two types of herpes – HSV 1 and HSV 2 – which enter the body through the moist skin of the mouth, penis, vagina and rectum.
Both types can cause cold sores on the mouth, genital herpes, whitlows (small abscesses) on the fingers and hands.
Herpes is especially dangerous for babies under six months old and newborn babies because their immune systems are still developing.
Neonatal herpes is a herpes infection in a newborn baby.
It’s caused by the highly contagious herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores and genital ulcers in adults.
Sometimes neonatal herpes only affects a baby’s eyes, mouth or skin. If this is the case most babies will recover with antiviral treatment.
The condition is much more serious if it spreads to the baby’s organs – almost a third of babies with this type of neonatal herpes will die, even if they receive treatment.