A couple have warned new parents not to let anyone kiss their baby after their newborn contracted meningitis aged just one week old.
Nicole and Shane Sifrit noticed that daughter Mariana had stopped eating and wouldn’t respond after numerous attempts to wake her up just a few days after she was born.
The newlyweds were forced to leave their wedding after just two hours in order to rush her to the hospital, where Mariana was quickly diagnosed with Meningitis HSV1 – despite neither member of the Iowa-based couple possessing the virus.
“It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail”, Shane said.
This means that Mariana contracted the disease from a third party, and identifying that person is nearly impossible. Although the virus is often associated with cold sores, most of those infected don’t even need a cold sore in order to pass it on, let alone show any other symptoms.
It’s possible that she could’ve contracted the illness from something as simple as a family member or friend kissing her. And, as a child under six months old, Mariana would’ve been highly susceptible to infection due to the lack of a fully-developed immune system.
Mariana is currently on life support in the University of Iowa hospital.
“She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team,” Nicole said. “I have to stay strong for her because she is still staying strong.”
The couple have spoken out on social media to warn fellow parents against the easily-contractable illness and update friends and family on her status under the hashtag #thefightformariana.
“Keep your babies isolated”, Nicole told WHO TV, “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.”