A US couple is warning other parents to be careful about who visits your newborn.
Very sadly, Nicole and Shane Sifrit’s 18-day-old daughter, Mariana, died after she contracted meningitis HSV-1 from an unknown source.
Speaking to WHO-DT, Nicole warns, “Keep your babies isolated, don’t let just anyone come visit them, and 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.”
Nicole and Shane welcomed Mariana on July 1. On July 7 the couple got married. A few hours later, they noticed something wasn’t right with their daughter – she wasn’t eating and was slow to wake.
Leaving their wedding early, Nicole and Shane took their baby to a children’s hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, where they discovered Marina had meningitis HSV-1.
Both Nicole and Shane tested negative for the virus. It’s likely someone with a cold sore came into contact with Mariana in the days after her birth and passed it on.
“They touch her, and then she touches her mouth with her hand,” Nicole told WQAD.
Within hours Mariana’s organs began to fail, and she was placed in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit before being transferred to another hospital and placed on life support.
Sadly, on July 18, Mariana passed away in her dad’s arms.
Now the family is warning others in the hopes of raising awareness about the virus.
“I never thought I would be going home without a baby,” Nicole tells PEOPLE.
“If you know that you carry a virus, even if it doesn’t affect you, please don’t go see a newborn child, because there is nothing that they can do to fight it off,” she adds.
“Just being a new parent, be aware of who you have come to the hospital, make sure people are washing their hands.
“Be protective over your baby, and don’t feel that you’re being rude.”
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