Iowa, US — A couple from Iowa is warning parents with newborn babies of the dangers of human contact and viruses after their 18-day old daughter died.
A week after she was born, her parents, Nicole and Shane Sifrit, married. However two hours after the couple’s wedding, they said they were unable to wake their daughter to eat.
“Within two hours, she had quit breathing and all her organs just started to fail,” Nicole Sifrit told CNN affiliate WHO.
According to a report by WHO, the couple left their wedding early to take their daughter Mariana to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. It was there they learned she had contracted meningitis HSV-1, caused by the herpes virus, which is the same virus that causes cold sores.
The couple said they did the test but did not have the virus, so someone else had to have infected Mariana.
Although she received blood transfusions, her kidneys became ill and her liver collapsed which led to internal bleeding, US media WQAD reported. Mariana was put on life support.
“They touch her and then she touches her mouth with her hand,” Sifrit explained. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how Mariana caught the virus, but Nicole wants people to know it’s important to be cautious when letting anyone handle babies.
“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,” she warned.
Nicole, has launched an awareness campaign to warn of the danger of exposing newborns to human contact.