A baby in the United Kingdom spent four days in the hospital after a family member kissed her on the lips. The family member apparently had a cold sore, but the child developed a painful rash as a result.
Kaylah Merritt, of County Durham, is said to have nearly died after a purple rash covered the child’s body.
According to the Daily Mail, Kaylah was diagnosed with eczema herpeticum, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus, which can cause cold sores.
Brogan Thomas and Connor Merritt from Darlington rushed Kaylah to the hospital. She needed two rounds of antibiotics, doctors told the Mail.
Her parents said the unnamed person who kissed the child had a cold sore. They issued a warning after the scare.
“When the doctors told me how dangerous it was I cried and cried thinking how I could have lost her due to a silly kiss,” Thomas said. “Connor was shocked and couldn’t believe all this was down to a kiss too.”
She added: “If we hadn’t gone to the hospital quickly, it could have been very dangerous, we could have lost her.”
When the girl developed a rash, the parents said the girl’s cries were different than usual.
They said they were concerned because she previously contracted meningitis and needed surgery to survive.
“Kaylah was crying so hard, I knew it could only mean she was in pain,” the concerned mother told the Daily Mail.
“We were at home and I was about to put her in the bath when I suddenly saw all the marks on her legs.”
“It was an awful nightmare, there were purple rashes everywhere and Kaylah was sobbing her heart out.”
Thomas added that she was concerned the rash had to do with her prior meningitis.
“My fiance was petrified, but he kept me calm and made sure Kaylah was calm too. I instantly knew we had to take her to the hospital,” she said.
She added: “The doctors told us that someone with a cold sore must have kissed her on the lips and because babies’ immune systems are not strong enough, she developed the rash.”
Thomas is now warning other parents of young children.
“I was so relieved when Kaylah was out of danger,” she said before adding: “I just want other parents to know, you don’t have to be a physically ill to harm a baby—you can just be a carrier of the virus and still affect them.”
A month after the fact, the girl still needs to take daily medication until the virus is gone. She also must go to doctor’s appointments on a weekly basis, the Mirror reported.
According to WebMD, “Cold sores, also called fever blisters, can show up anywhere on your body. They’re most likely to appear on the outside of your mouth and lips, but you can also find them on your nose, cheeks, or fingers.”
It said that the symptoms are typically the most severe the first time.
And “sometimes kids who are affected may become seriously ill,” the website stated.
“If you have a severe case of a skin condition called eczema, you may get cold sores over large parts of your body. There can sometimes be serious complications from a cold sore. If the infection spreads to the eye, it could affect your vision. If it spreads to the brain, it could lead to meningitis or encephalitis,” according to WebMD.
Eczema herpeticum, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, typically occurs “with the herpes simplex virus.”
“Eczema herpeticum can be severe, progressing to disseminated infection and death if untreated.1 Bacterial superinfection and bacteremia are usually the complications that cause mortality. We present a case in which eczema herpeticum was misdiagnosed as impetigo during a patient’s initial treatment. Detailed history taking and characteristic cutaneous findings can help clinicians make an accurate diagnosis,” says the NIH’s website.