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The Dangerous Reason You Shouldn't Kiss Your Newborn If You Have a Cold Sore

The Short of It

A newborn baby almost died after contracting Herpes from a kiss. Here is her story.

The Lowdown

A mom from the U.K. is warning parents not to kiss their newborns if they have a cold sore after her daughter nearly died.

"I had no idea cold sores could be so dangerous to newborn babies, and there just isn't that awareness at all, but there desperately needs to be," mom-of-four Lynette Clare told The Huffington Post.

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Clare first knew something was wrong when 5-day-old Chloe seemed unusually sleepy and then spiked a fever of 42 degrees Celsius, which is 107 degrees Fahrenheit! Doctors at the hospital told the terrified mom her baby might not live through the night because she had contracted Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). Clare figured out it must have been from a cold sore on a family friend who kissed Chloe a few days earlier.

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Thankfully, Chloe's condition improved after being treated with antiviral medication. Still, from just a little kiss, she had to spend three weeks in the hospital and put her family through untold heartache. And there's more; Chloe, now 3 years old, suffered long-term health effects. Her doctors say her microcephaly, a smaller than average head, was caused by HSV-1. She also has speech and developmental delays, although doctors aren't 100 percent certain they were caused by her infection.

"I just feel so lucky it was caught at the right time. I was told afterwards if I had waited until the morning before taking her into hospital she probably wouldn't be here today," Clare says.

The Upshot

Now Clare hopes her story will help to educate new parents about the dangers of cold sores.

"None of the midwives on the maternity ward had warned me about cold sores being a risk. I just had no idea they were dangerous in any way. I think there should be something given out in the packs, which are given to new mums," Clare says. "It is completely natural to want to kiss a newborn baby, you just want to shower them with love and kisses. How were we to know a cold sore could have caused this?"

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I'll admit I had no idea a cold sore could be deadly for a newborn. Thank you to Lynette for opening up about her ordeal to save other parents from going through a similar nightmare.

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