Mum's warning after son gets virus 'as deadly as meningitis'

Olivia Lambert
Associate News Editor

A mother is warning other parents after a small blister on her baby’s head turned into something much more sinister.

Rhian Brace, from Doncaster in the UK, told Yahoo7 News her son Ernie was just 14 days old when he was rushed to hospital.

Ms Brace had taken her son to see a doctor on September 10 after noticing a small blister on his head.

“I originally thought he had had a reaction to something in my home, or maybe a reaction to something that I bathed him in,” she said.

“Given the fact I have very sensitive skin, I wasn’t 100 per cent sure that my son hadn’t followed in my footsteps.”

Rhian Brace was told her son Ernie had eczema when she became concerned about blisters on his head. Source: Rhian Brace

In a Facebook post, she wrote that the blister had popped after a bath and she cleaned the area and re-washed it to prevent any infection.

Just days later, she noticed he had another four blisters, before another six popped up overnight.

She was originally told Ernie had eczema, and that other than the blisters, he showed no signs of a more serious problem.

“Ernie didn’t show any signs of anything other than the ‘spot blisters’ multiplying on his head,” Ms Brace said.

“But I have been advised by medical professionals that I and others should look for things like not eating or drinking, change in behaviour, less nappies or change in soiled nappies, breathing changes, temperature and, of course, if you notice spots like I did.”

Rhian Brace is warning other parents after her son Ernie contracted the herpes simplex virus. Source: Rhian Brace

After the initial diagnosis, Ms Brace decided to get a second opinion and on September 13 he was rushed to hospital.

It was there he was diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus, also known as a common cold sore.

“The virus that Ernie was diagnosed with can be contracted via human contact, both through vaginal delivery or through people wanting to touch or kiss your baby,” she said.

Ms Brace said doctors had confirmed that Ernie had not contracted the virus through her.

“So that leaves it down to someone that has been in contact with my child that either kissed him or didn’t wash their hands, even though I had specifically asked for everyone to do so,” she said.

Rhian Brace became concerned after the blisters kept multiplying. Source: Rhian Brace

Ms Brace said the herpes simplex virus might not seem that bad, but it could spread to the blood and vital organs, leading to sepsis or vital organs beginning to shut down.

She said it could be “just as deadly as meningitis” in babies.

“Hospital and medical staff explained to me that it is crucial he has two weeks of IV anti-viral medicine, as this gets straight to his veins and can kill the virus a lot quicker and more effectively than oral medicine,” she said.

Ernie will have to take oral medicine for the next six months after being diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus. Source: Rhian Brace

Following the intravenous medicine, Ernie will have to have oral medicine for the next six months.

Ms Brace said parents should never feel they are being over-cautious when it came to their child.

“Make sure that people in contact with you or your child always have clean hands and nobody kisses the child,” she said.

“As a new parent,  I was told by many, ‘you’re being too cautious and you’re being over-protective’.

“If someone ever says this, please do not think you are, you do whatever you feel is right for your baby.

“They are far too precious to go through something like this.”