When Jaime Lippold first noticed a minor pimple on her daughter, Aubree’s face, she didn’t think anything of it. The pimple quickly scabbed and came off and that was that.

However, over the next few days, the wound became bigger and bigger and started to show signs of an infection. Shortly after Aubree stopped eating, became lethargic and developed a fever. That’s when Jaime quickly rushed her four-year-old to the ED.

Aubree’s tiny pimple on her cheek left her in hospital for four days. Source: Facebook

School sore diagnosis

The first time she arrived at Urgent Care, the doctors diagnosed Aubree with impetigo, or, as we often know it – school sores. This is a skin infection caused by staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria and is quite common for kids in Australia because of the hotter climate.

It’s not as common in Illinois, America, where Aubree lives, but Jaime didn’t question it. She gave her daughter the topical ointment and hoped she would be better.

Two days later she still wasn’t herself so Jaime returned to Urgent Care. Again, she was told it was impetigo.

Aubree’s cheek got worse and worse over the course of five days. Source: Facebook

After the second visit to the ED, Jaime noticed that the spot on Aubree’s cheek had doubled in size. She still had a fever and felt really sick so Jaime took her to the Children’s Hospital this time.

She was immediately admitted for infection and started on aggressive antibiotics and antibodies to fight it,” Jaime explains on her Facebook page.

Aubree spent four days in the pediatric unit while Jaime waited for answers. Tests confirmed that Aubree had contracted HSV- herpes simplex virus (also referred to as cold sores).

It started with a kiss

As Jaime explains, days before Aubree developed the HSV infection, she had given her daughter a little kiss on the cheek. Jaime, at the time, had a cold sore that hadn’t fully healed.

HSV infection
Source: Facebook

I was playing around, kissing my daughter, I passed the virus to her through a tiny pimple on her face. This is something that you hear about, but never think would actually happen to you.”

Jaime explains how her daughter is back to her normal, happy self and the spot on her face is fading. She will require a 10-day course of antibiotics.

WHO estimates that 67% of all humans are infected with HSV but many never show symptoms. While a cold sore doesn’t seem like much, the virus can be incredibly dangerous for children and potentially deadly, especially in babies and toddlers.

In 2018, 3-week-old Mallory Gober died of the herpes simplex virus. Her parents barely had a chance to get to know the precious little girl before she was gone.

In 2019, eight-week-old Lottie also contacted HSV but thankfully, she survived after several days in the hospital and a six-month course of antibiotics.

‘Don’t kiss babies’ 

Like many, Jaime wasn’t aware of just how easy it is to spread HSV and shares an important message with everyone on her page:

Thankfully she wasn’t a baby and our story ended with her coming home with us. This could have affected a baby a lot different, with a different outcome.

Don’t kiss babies when you have a cold sore. Don’t kiss them when you feel like you have one coming. Don’t kiss them even if your sore is “healed”. If the sore is visible at all, it can be passed to someone else.

I made this post because like me, a lot of people are unaware of what HSV is and how easily you can give it to other people.”

HSV in babies: Signs to watch for

According to the NHS, “because newborn babies have underdeveloped immune systems, they can quickly become seriously ill after catching the virus.”

A baby infected with HSV may:

  • Be listless, floppy and sleepy
  • Stop feeding
  • Have a high temperature
  • Emit a high pitched cry
  • Breath rapidly or have breathing difficulties
  • Have a blue tongue and skin
  • Have a rash

Contact your GP or midwife as soon as possible if your baby has any of the above symptoms and you’re worried.

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Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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