Nicole and Shane Sifrit welcomed a healthy baby girl on July 1, 2017, according to Local 10 News. They named her Mariana. Six days later Nicole and Shane were married. And 12 days after the wedding, when baby Mariana was only 18 days old, she died.
“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” Nicole posted on Facebook. “She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord.”
Mariana died from meningitis HSV1, which she likely received by being kissed from someone who carries the cold sore virus, according to WHO.
The Sifrits first noticed something was wrong with Mariana only two hours after their marriage.
“Friday we noticed she stopped eating and wasn’t waking up when we were trying to get her to respond,” Nicole told WHO.
Mariana then spent a long two weeks battling hard against the effects from this disease, which included internal bleeding, damage to her kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and brain.
Through this tragedy, the Sifrits are spreading awareness about the dangers of the cold sore virus for infants.
“DON’T LET ANYONE kiss your baby,” Nicole wrote on Facebook. “Our princess is fighting for her life on life support after being discharged 100% healthy. This has to be the worse nightmare I’ve ever lived!”
As is evident with the Sifrit’s experience, kisses can be fatal for infants. Be aware of these three things when protecting your infant:
The majority of adults carry the HSV virus
According to the Department of Health, about 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are infected with HSV-1 (the type that creates cold sores on your face and lips). Although an HSV infection is not a big deal for most adults, it’s often fatal for infants.
Do NOT kiss your baby if you have a cold sore (or have recently had one)
The Department of Health advises parents to let no one kiss your baby if they have had a cold sore anytime recently (including yourself). Anyone holding your infant should wash their hands before touching them as well.
If you have genital herpes, tell your doctor
Although not the case with the Sifrits, most infants who get HSV receive it from their mother during birth. If you’ve ever had genital herpes, or if your husband does, let your doctor know.