Children's Health

Newborn contracts life-threatening illness from kiss, parents claim

A couple is speaking out about the potential dangers of letting others kiss and hold newborn babies after their infant contracted a life-threatening illness and is now likely to face long-term health issues. Mariana Sifrit was just six-days-old when she was admitted to a Des Moines hospital and diagnosed with Meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by herpes, KTLA.com reported.

The newborn’s parents, Shane and Nicole Sifrit, both tested negative for the virus, which doctors said was likely passed on through a kiss from someone who carries the cold sore virus, the news outlet reported.

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Mariana was transferred to Blank Children’s Hospital where she was placed on life support after her organs started to fail.

“She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team,” Shane Sifirt told KTLA.com.

In a July 16 Facebook post, Nicole said doctors informed the couple that if Mariana's liver cannot repair itself she will not be able to recover. At the very least, doctors expect Mariana to spend another month in the hospital as they assess the damage already caused by the virus.

“Keep your babies isolated, don’t let just anyone come visit them, and make sure they are constantly washing their hands,” the Sifirts warned other parents, through KTLA.com. “Don’t let people kiss your baby, and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”