Parents Warn Others About These Rules, After They Lost Their Newborn
After tragic death of 12-day-old baby, parents warn other people about very important childcare rules that many people ignore. Neonatal herpes simplex virus infections are transmitted to a baby during delivery by the infected mother. This occurs in about one per 3,000 to 20,000 live births. A woman who has an outbreak of genital herpes during the third trimester without completing seroconversion at the time of birth has a 33% chance of transmitting the herpes virus to her child.
A neonatal herpes infection has the potential of being devastating to an infant. While most cases occur during birth, they may also occur in utero and after birth through open skin or oral contact.
One baby, Eibhlín Gráinne Wills, was born nine days late by emergency c-section and went home five days later with seemingly no issues. She was a relaxed baby and adapted easily once she was home. She was alert when necessary and otherwise slept and fed just fine. She was even seen as being perfectly healthy at her eight day check up.
After a few days, however, things seemed to be off. She was drinking and sleeping less. She began to seem congested, as if she had come down with a cold. While she didn’t seem upset, she was clinging to her parents for support.
One day, however, she seemed especially tired and a little unlike her happy self. The parents decided to take her into the pediatrician to make sure nothing was wrong.
Soon after the visit to the doctor, Eibhlín’s health began to get worse. She became very pale and weak, and prompted her parents to take her into the ER.
The emergency room doctors found that Eibhlín had contracted “Disseminated Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus 1.” Her health rapidly declined and led to her passing at the age of 12 days old.
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While babies who lose their battle to this virus in the first few days of life have typically contracted the virus from their mother, her mother was found to not be a carrier of the virus. Therefore, Eibhlín may have contracted herpes while she was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This must have been due to an accidental slip in hygiene by a nurse. Eibhlín had no visitors during her five days in the NICU.
While the exact cause of Eibhlin’s contraction of the virus is unknown, it occured through an open source, like as a drip or a feeding tube. Therefore, Eibhlin was only attacked on the inside of her body, meaning that she did not develop sores on her body to notify her parents that something was wrong.
What parents warn about?
Several things can be done to prevent this from happening. First, it is important to not let a newborn have physical contact with an open wound of any sort, especially a cold sore. It is also important for people to thoroughly wash their hands before handling a newborn. It is also important for medical staff to know of any people who have herpes, so they can take extra precautions. Also, if a mother is breastfeeding and there is a sore on their breast, it is important that that milk is thrown away. Never give a baby milk that may have touched an open sore.
While there are many cases of this virus in newborns in the United States, deaths are rare. However, there is a lack of information letting people know that this problem does exist and can have detrimental impacts.
Eibhlin’s family is working to spread the word about their tragedy. It is important to educated people on the risks of passing viruses and diseases onto newborns who have a very weak immune system.