Tot thought to have caught lethal virus from cold sore

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by ERIN CARDIFF sun­[email protected]­lystar.co.uk

A HEART­BRO­KEN mum and dad have is­sued a stark warn­ing to other par­ents af­ter their baby girl was killed by a kiss.

Lit­tle Kiara was just 14 days old when she died from the her­pes sim­plex virus.

Kelly Ine­son and fi­ancé Thomas Cum­mins say doc­tors be­lieve their daugh­ter got it off a well-wisher.

Kelly, 30, is now warn­ing par­ents to not let other peo­ple em­brace their tots.

She said: “Doc­tors have told us Kiara most likely con­tracted the virus through some­one kiss­ing her.

“We were al­ways so care­ful, not let­ting any­one near her if they seemed poorly or hadn’t washed their hands. We’ve been asked if we re­mem­ber any­one with a cold sore kiss­ing her, but we don’t and we would never have let that hap­pen.

“I’ve been go­ing over ev­ery lit­tle de­tail of what hap­pened, des­per­ate to find an an­swer as to ex­actly what hap­pened, but I don’t think I’ll ever get one – and that’s what’s killing me.

“I never in my worst night­mares imag­ined a kiss could kill my baby, and I don’t want any other par­ents to go through this.”

Kiara fell ill at 10 days old. Kelly and Thomas, 26, took her to hos­pi­tal where doc­tors said she had con­tracted a strain of the her­pes sim­plex virus.

It is highly con­ta­gious and com­monly known as the cause of cold sores or gen­i­tal sores in adults – but it can be fa­tal to a baby.

Kiara was placed in an in­duced coma to give her a chance to fight. But Kelly and Thomas were told that even if she pulled through she would prob­a­bly be badly brain-dam­aged.

Kelly said: “We begged doc­tors to do what they could but it was no use. We were es­sen­tially told that we’d be wait­ing for her to die. I couldn’t hear any more. I just broke down, run­ning down the cor­ri­dor scream­ing until I col­lapsed.

“It was in­cred­i­bly hard but in the end we agreed with the doc­tors to let her go with peace and dig­nity rather than pro­long her suf­fer­ing.

“Our fam­ily all came to say good­bye, then left us two with her while all the ma­chines keep­ing her alive were removed one by one.”

With the sup­port of the Her­pes Viruses As­so­ci­a­tion, Kelly is warn­ing of the dan­gers of let­ting peo­ple kiss their new­born ba­bies and how dev­as­tat­ing the virus can be.

Kelly, who has three other chil­dren, said: “It can de­stroy lives. Kiara should be get­ting ready for her first Christ­mas but in­stead we have to strug­gle with all these unan­swered ques­tions. All we can do is take it one day at a time.”

Mar­ian Ni­chol­son, direc­tor of the Her­pes Viruses As­so­ci­a­tion, said: “Please don’t kiss other peo­ple’s ba­bies. “You might be one of the peo­ple who has cold sores that are so mild you haven’t no­ticed them, yet your mild in­fec­tion could be trans­ferred to a new baby.

“Catch­ing cold sores be­fore the baby is six to nine months old can be se­ri­ous as their im­mune sys­tems aren’t well de­vel­oped.

“Moth­ers with cold sores should not worry about kiss­ing their own ba­bies, be­cause dur­ing the last months of preg­nancy, a mother who has had cold sores passes pro­tec­tive an­ti­bod­ies for this virus to her baby through the pla­centa.

“If mum has not had cold sores her­self, then a dad with a cold sore should not kiss his baby.

“Also, dads need to be care­ful not to pass on the cold sore virus to mums in the last stages of preg­nancy be­cause by then it may be too late for her to de­velop the an­ti­bod­ies her baby needs. Then the new baby will have no pro­tec­tion when it is born.”


– PAGE 6

■ TRAGEDY: Kiara in hos­pi­tal. Left, with par­ents Kelly and Thomas

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