Tot Caught Virus That Could Leave Him Blind From a Single Kiss, Now Mom Issues Warning

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
August 2, 2019 Updated: August 2, 2019

Hayley Etheridge, a Brit mom from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, has a message to share with parents after her son, Baylie-Grey, was at risk of going blind as a result of contracting a highly contagious virus. She is warning other parents that “even a simple kiss” can break your fragile babies.

The virus caused Baylie-Grey, then 3, to develop a rash across his face and left him overly lethargic. To seek treatment, Etheridge, who was 35 weeks pregnant with a second son at the time, brought him to North Manchester General Hospital.

At the hospital, Etheridge was shocked when the doctors told her Baylie-Grey had contracted the HSV-1 Herpes Simplex Virus.

'Please be careful with your babies, they're so tiny and fragile that even a simple kiss can break them'

Daily Mail စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇူလိုင် ၃၁၊ ဗုဒ္ဓဟူးနေ့

“When doctors told me it was herpes I was shocked, people assume it’s always sexually transmitted but it’s not,” Etheridge told Manchester Evening News.

In fact, HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact. People can contract the highly contagious virus through kissing, sharing objects such as toothbrushes or eating utensils, or coming into contact with a herpes ulcer/sore.

Etheridge believes a kiss by a relative who had the virus passed it on to her son.

Hayley Etheridge စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၇၊ မေ ၃၊ ဗုဒ္ဓဟူးနေ့

While the virus is minor in adults, it can cause serious and sometimes fatal complications for babies and young children infected with herpes, especially “babies under 6 months of age,” states HealthyChildren.org. Newborns have relatively weak immune systems, so the virus can be deadly for them.

The young mother cried as she talked to the doctors, discussing Baylie-Grey’s condition. She asked them questions and got answers “no mother wants to hear.”

The doctors said Baylie-Grey could go blind if the virus spread to his eyes. “I was absolutely terrified,” Etheridge said. “I had no idea that a simple cold sore virus could be so dangerous to a child.”

"I had no idea that a simple cold sore virus could be so dangerous to a child."

Manchester Evening News စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇူလိုင် ၃၀၊ အင်္ဂါနေ့

Even scarier, they told Etheridge she needed immediate treatment as her unborn baby, Vito, might be infected with herpes if she had caught the virus from Baylie-Grey .

“Doctors told me that if I passed it on to my newborn baby it could cause blindness, brain damage or he could even be stillborn,” Etheridge said.

As one would expect, the mom was worried and frightened. “I was sat there thinking I have one child in a really serious situation and now I am being told my other baby could die,” she said. “I have never been so scared in my life.”

"I had no idea that a simple cold sore virus could be so dangerous to a child."

Daily Mirror စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇူလိုင် ၃၀၊ အင်္ဂါနေ့

Fearing the worst, Etheridge was constantly monitored throughout her pregnancy until she delivered Vito in May 2017. Fortunately, Vito did not catch the virus and was born healthy.

Two years after the traumatic ordeal, Vito is now 2 and Baylie-Grey is 5.

As the infection is lifelong and the incurable herpes virus will go through dormant phases but can reactivate unpredictably, Baylie still “comes up in the virus sometimes when he is poorly and run down.” But thankfully, the boy has only been in the hospital twice due to herpes.

“I am one of the lucky ones,” said Etheridge. “Even though my story has a happy ending, some people’s don’t.”

"Please be careful with your babies, they're so tiny and fragile that even a simple kiss can break them."

The Sun စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၉၊ ဇူလိုင် ၃၁၊ ဗုဒ္ဓဟူးနေ့

In 2018, baby boy Leo died after catching the Herpes HSV2 virus—a type of genital herpes—from his mom Kira Aldcroft. The mother did not know she was carrying the dormant virus and had unknowingly passed it on to her son during the vaginal delivery.

Etheridge shared her story with the aim to inform parents about the risks of kissing young children and to spread awareness of Herpes simplex virus (HSV).

“Please be careful with your babies, they’re so tiny and fragile that even a simple kiss can break them,” she warned in a Facebook post.

Along with Aldcroft, Etheridge is currently calling for herpes testing to be made mandatory for all pregnant women across the United Kingdom, using the Western Blot Test.

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