A mother has issued a timely warning for people to stop kissing babies, after her daughter died two years ago.
Abigail Friend’s daughter Aliza Rose died in 2018, when she was just eight days old when she died after contracting the preventable HSV-1 virus, or herpes, after being kissed by a carrier or touched with unwashed hands.
Since then Ms Friend has been using her voice on social media to help spread awareness about the disease.
“It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, HSV1 is ALWAYS able to be spread when the live virus is present on the skin or a surface,” Ms Friend said on her Facebook page, Aliza’s Story.
“PLEASE stop kissing babies and ALWAYS wash your hands before touching them.
“Aliza was PERFECTLY healthy when she was born. Now we’ve spent over 2 years without her and it doesn’t get any easier. We miss and love you so so much Aliza Rose.”
When Ms Friend first announced her daughter’s death in 2018 she explained Aliza was healthy for a day and a half, before six days of sickness “completely destroyed her body”.
“Some family and a few close friends came to visit her when she was born,” Ms Friend said in 2018.
“There’s no way to ever know who gave it to her because it’s such a common virus. It could have been anybody.”
Herpes in babies can be quite serious, due to their underdeveloped immune systems.
Since her devastating loss, Ms Friend has been urging people to not kiss babies and wash their hands before handling babies, while also writing emotional posts about losing her child.
“Child loss is so much more than just losing a child. You’re losing everything you’d ever get to do with them, see them accomplish, everything,” Ms Friend wrote on September 15.
“You lose everything, including yourself. So if you happen to see a loss parent, take a second and ask them about their baby. You are reminding us that they died, but that someone remembers that they LIVED.”
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