Mother warns about dangers of exposing newborns to human contact

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 10:06:36-04

A 3-week-old newborn in Iowa is fighting for her life after doctors believe she caught a deadly virus from a simple kiss.

Nicole and Shane Sifrit gave birth to Mariana on July 1 before getting married a week later. Two hours after the wedding, CNN reports they noticed their daughter wasn’t eating and wouldn’t wake up.

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Doctors at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines told the parents Mariana had contracted meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the herpes virus. Both parents tested negative for the virus, which causes cold sores, and suggested it may have come from somebody visiting the family.

"They touched her, and then she touched her mouth with her hand," Nicole Sifrit explained. "It's hard to pinpoint exactly how she caught the virus, but it's important people are cautious when they let anyone handle their babies.”

If Mariana survives, she will have long-term problems with her brain, liver and kidneys due to damage from the virus, Nicole Sifrit told CNN. She’ll likely be in the hospital for the next three to six months.