A mother gives a warning after her three-year-old was covered in a rash after he caught herpes that he probably got when he was kissed by a family member.
The son of Hayley Etheridge, Baylie-Gray, developed a rash on his face caused by the virus.
Mrs. Etheridge, 24, was shocked when she discovered that her unborn child, Vito, was also in danger, which could have been fatal because the virus could also be passed on from the mother.
Herpes can be very serious in newborns because their immune system is not strong enough to fight the infection.
Toddlers are less likely to have fatal complications, but Mrs. Etheridge was told that Baylie-Gray could become blind if the virus reached his eyes.
He has since recovered and her second son, Vito, has not contracted the virus. Ms. Etheridge, from Greater Manchester, is campaigning for more awareness alongside parents who have lost their babies due to the virus.
Hayley Etheridge, 24, talked about the devastating moment when her three-year-old son, Baylie-Gray, was told that she had sustained a dangerous type of herpes from a single kiss. He is shown when a rash broke over his face
Mrs. Etheridge, pictured with Baylie in the hospital, said she was shocked by the herpes diagnosis and said that people normally assume it is sexually transmitted
Mrs. Etheridge was shocked when she discovered that her unborn child was also in danger. But Vito was born healthy (pictured right with Baylie-Gray when he recovered)
Mrs. Etheridge noticed for the first time that something was wrong with Baylie-Gray after he broke into his face in a rash and was described as overly listless.
At the time she was 35 weeks pregnant with her second son, Vito.
Herpes symptoms usually begin within 20 days of contracting. The skin becomes sore or itchy, burning or tingling, usually around the mouth. Blisters can appear, burst and become sores.
Mrs. Etheridge was advised to go to North Manchester General Hospital, where doctors told her that Baylie-Gray had contracted the HSV-1.
HSV-1 is passed through saliva and skin to skin contact. Although it is a minor in adults, it is potentially dangerous for babies and young children.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.7 billion people worldwide were younger than 50, or 67 percent of the population, with HSV-1.
Mrs. Etheridge believes her son contracted the virus after being kissed by a relative, but said it was impossible for her to know for sure who had passed it on.
Speak to the Manchester Evening News, Etheridge said: “When doctors told me it was herpes, I was shocked, people assume it is always sexually transmitted, but it isn't.
& # 39; I remember sitting and crying when I talked to the doctors, asked them my questions and received answers that no mother wants to hear.
Mrs. Etheridge first noticed that there was something seriously wrong with her Baylie-Gray after he erupted in a rash and was described as overly listless. Pictured, his result
Mrs. Etheridge advises parents to act with caution before kissing their young children, and said she does not know which family member could have transmitted the virus to Baylie-Gray pictured in the hospital
Fortunately Vito was born healthy in May 2017, pictured with his mother and family. Mrs. Etheridge said she was & # 39; one of the lucky ones & # 39; feels
Mrs. Etheridge said: & I was sitting there thinking that I had a child in a very serious situation and now I am told that my other baby could die. & # 39; Both Vito, now two, and Baylie-Gray, five, are thriving children, depicted with Mrs. Etheridge
WHAT ARE HERPED?
Herpes viruses cause cold sores, which usually appear on the lips or genitals.
About seven in ten people in the UK are infected with viruses.
Only about one in three experiences symptoms.
In the US, about half of young adults are infected with the virus that causes cold sores around the mouth.
One in eight has the virus behind genital herpes.
Cold sores on the lips are usually passed on by being kissed by someone with an active cold sore.
They start as a small red spot that blisters before they burst, leaving a rough area that leaves scabs.
Cold sores that appear on the face are usually caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus.
Type 2 mainly affects the sexual organs.
It is rare for cold sores to spread from the place where they first appeared.
And they are only transmitted through direct skin contact, not by sharing items such as towels or cutlery.
Oral sex is a common way for cold sores to pass from the mouth of one person to the genitals of another or vice versa.
Once infected, patients may initially experience fever and flu-like symptoms.
Cold sores can recur if they are caused by stress, illness, alcohol or too much sunlight.
This is because the virus stays in a nerve node near the spinal cord.
Many feel an itch, tingling or shooting pain before a cold sore reappears.
Antiviral medication can be prescribed if someone often suffers from outbreaks.
By keeping ulcers hydrated, they can stop cracking and become painful.
Source: Herpes Viruses Association
& # 39; They told me that if the virus spread in his eyes, Baylie could become blind – I was absolutely terrified.
& # 39; I had no idea that a simple cold sore virus can be so dangerous for a child. & # 39;
Herpes simplex eye infections are a relatively common and potentially serious form of eye infection, according to the NHS. But if left untreated, there is a chance that vision will be affected.
Mrs. Etheridge said her ordeal became even more frightening when doctors noticed she was pregnant and told her that she should be treated by staff immediately.
They told her that if she caught Baylie-Gray's virus, chances were she could pass it on to her unborn son – the neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) – which is very deadly.
Mrs. Etheridge said: “Doctors told me that if I passed it on to my newborn baby, it could cause blindness, brain damage or even stillbirth.
& # 39; I was sitting there thinking that I had a child in a very serious situation and now I am told that my other baby could die. I've never been so scared in my life. & # 39;
Mrs. Etheridge said she had to be constantly monitored throughout the rest of her pregnancy because doctors could not see if anything had been passed on to her baby.
Fortunately, Mrs. Etheridge's second son without herpes was born in May 2017, and both Vito, now two, and Baylie, five, are thriving children after Baylie was treated.
Mrs. Etheridge owes her fortune to the medication she received while she was in the hospital with Baylie, thanks to doctors who were so & # 39; on the ball & # 39; goods.
Once infected, the herpes simplex virus becomes dormant for a long time and can reactivate, during which time cold sores or rashes reappear.
Mrs. Etheridge said: & although Baylie sometimes appears in the virus when he is poor and empty, he has only been in the hospital twice.
& # 39; Vito is now two and has never had a problem or happily contracted the virus, thankfully. & # 39;
& # 39; Although my story ends well, some people don't. Although what happened to my family is rare, it still happens. I am one of the lucky ones. & # 39;
In 2018, Kira Aldcroft lost her newborn son after catching herpes HSV-2 virus.
The 22-year-old, also from Prestwich, had no idea that she was carrying the sleeping virus – that she had unknowingly transferred it to her son Leo during his birth.
Both Mrs. Aldcroft and Mrs. Etheridge are now campaigning for mandatory testing in the UK for all pregnant women, using a blood test called the Western Blot Test.
Ms. Etheridge said she wanted the virus to be discussed a lot and new parents to be told about the risks of kissing young children.
She said: “People say you shouldn't wrap your children in bubble wrap, let them get into bacteria and dirt, and let them learn how to fight it themselves, and that's fine.
& # 39; But there are some things that kids can't fight, and the risk isn't worth it.
& # 39; Please be careful with your baby & # 39; s, they are so small and fragile that even a simple kiss can break them. & # 39;
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