A family in Australia lost a newborn baby to a staph infection resulting from a cold sore, reports 7News Brisbane. Mother Sarah Pugh is looking beyond her grief to warn others about the cold sore that killed her baby and the simple virus’ potential to turn fatal.
Pugh first noticed that something was wrong when Baby Eloise had lost an abnormal amount of weight for a newborn. Just one week after taking Eloise home, Pugh brought her back to the Mackay Hospital where she was diagnosed with the Herpes Simplex virus (HS1), which causes cold sores. Baby Eloise was then airlifted to Brisbane hospital and hooked up to machines to help her heart and lungs; she contracted a staph infection instead. At only 24 days old, Eloise died.
Babies do occasionally contract the herpes virus and doctors say its rare that they pass away, although once the virus has progressed there is little a hospital can do. Obstetrician Dr. Gino Pecoraro told 7News, “This is one of those many occasions where prevention really is the only cure.” Doctors remind visitors to refrain from kissing young children and that anyone with a cold sore should cover it up with a Band-Aid.
Pugh says she is “staying strong” for her three other children while raising awareness of the consequences of the cold sore virus.