A three-month-old baby was rushed to the hospital after doctors from a local clinic were brought the boy when he was covered, head to toe, in a rash. The child was running a fever and he was covered in cold sores and blisters and was running a very high fever due to having an infection that had been untreated for days.
A medic who helped treat the boy told reporters,
“The three-month-old's body and especially his face and head were red and covered in sores.
“It was painful to look at,” he added.
Baby covered in blisters after her HERPES-infected mother kissed her https://t.co/Jgj22g1JwE— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) April 20, 2018
Doctors were initially perplexed, thinking that the baby might have had a skin condition, infection, or possibly even an allergy. However testing revealed that the baby was suffering from a viral infection. The disease, believe it or not, was the simple Herpes virus otherwise known as HSV-1. It was transmitted to the baby by the mother who was unknowingly infected and kissed her baby on the lips, which is a pretty common behaviour for mothers.
The disease went untreated and caused a major infection in the young boy. Luckily doctors were able to treat the child and he was discharged from hospital a few days later, free of symptoms. However, doctors treating the child pointed out how lucky the baby and mother were. Untreated herpes in a child can result in septicaemia, organ failure, and in some cases even death.
There are numerous types of herpes. HSV-1 is commonly known for causing mouth ulcers, while HSV-2 is more commonly known as genital herpes and is classed as a sexually transmitted disease. Both cause blisters and painful ulcers in the affected areas, and will cyclically cause the infected person to display symptoms for a period of time before they eventually heal.
However, there are no known treatments for herpes and once infected it will never leave a person’s system, nor is there any form of vaccine. The severity of this case is unique but helps highlight how even a common viral infection can become nearly-fatal in newborn children who do not have fully-formed immune systems.
It is estimated between 60 and 95% of the world’s adult population have either HSV-1 or HSV-2.