An 18-day-old baby has died after she contracted a life-threatening herpes infection through a kiss. Baby Mariana was born healthy on July 1, however, on July 7, which was her parents’ wedding day, she became ill and had to be rushed to the hospital where doctors tried unsuccessfully to save her life.
Iowa couple, Shane and Nicole Sifrit had to cut their wedding reception short to take their 6-day-old daughter to the Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. At the hospital, doctors said the child had become infected with meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the herpes virus. The virus is usually passed through sexual contact or transmitted from mother to child. Both parents of the child tested negative to the herpes virus, suggesting the baby had become infected through someone who had visited the family and kissed her.
“It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail,” Shane Sifrit said.
In the next 48 hours, Marianne had a half-dozen blood transfusions, but her kidneys failed, requiring that she be put on dialysis. Later her liver stopped functioning properly as well, which resulted in internal bleeding. On July 10, she was airlifted to the University of Iowa hospital, where teams of specialists tried to stop the deadly infection.
Just after 8.40am on Tuesday, Mariana lost her fight against the virus and passed away in her father’s arms. Her mother who had been posting regular updates on Mariana’s health crisis on her Facebook page announced her death on the social platform.
She wrote: “She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord. In her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns life. R.I.P. sweet angel”.
Nicole also warned parents to be vigilant about who they let near their babies.
“Don’t let just anyone come visit them. Make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don’t let people kiss your baby and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby,” Nicole warned.