Parents warn others of virus that can kill newborns from a kiss

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Baby Who May Have Contracted Deadly Meningitis Virus From Kiss Dies

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Parents in Iowa are clinging onto hope for their newborn daughter, who contracted a deadly virus just from a simple kiss.

"It's horrific," Nicole Sifrit told WQAD. "Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail." 

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The Iowa City couple welcomed their new child, Mariana, on July 1. A week later, they noticed she wasn’t eating and would not wake up when they tried to stimulate her.

They rushed their daughter to a hospital and learned Mariana had contracted a deadly virus called meningitis HSV-1, which doctors said she most likely got from a kiss.

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The virus is caused by herpes and can come from someone who carries the virus but does not necessarily have an open sore on their body, according to WQAD.

The parents tested negative for the virus, suggesting it could have come from others who visited Mariana. The Meningitis Research Foundation reports that a lot of people carry the virus without showing symptoms.

Mariana is currently on life support and could be in the hospital for at least a month, according to WQAD.

"She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team," Mariana’s father told WQAD. "I always thought this stuff happens and it's a shame (but) never thought it would happen to me and was not prepared at all."

Now Mariana’s parents are warning others to keep their newborn babies isolated from visitors and to constantly wash their hands.


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