Newborn baby almost dies after contracting herpes in his eye ‘when he was kissed at a christening’
- Noah Tindle was four weeks old when he was diagnosed with ‘kiss of death’ HSV
- His mother Ashleigh White, from Barnsley, has shared story to raise awareness
- Poorly baby spent two-and-a-half months in the hospital after his diagnosis
A newborn baby almost died after contracting the herpes virus in his eye after being kissed at a christening.
Noah Tindle was just four weeks old when his mother, Ashleigh White, noticed her son’s right eye had become swollen, blistered and was watering.
After seeking medical advice last September, Noah was rushed to hospital and was quickly diagnosed with Herpes simplex virus 1 [HSV-1] – known as the ‘kiss of death’.
Ms White, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was told her newborn baby – who almost went blind in one eye – was likely to have caught the virus through an infected adult kissing his face.
The first-time mother believes Noah most likely contracted the virus at a christening they attended together just five days before.
Noah Tindle, now nine months old, nearly died after he contracted herpes in his eye. Pictured: Noah with her mother, Ashleigh White
Five days after the pair attended a christening, Ms White noticed her son’s right eye has become swollen, blistered and was watering. She took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with HSV-1 – known as the ‘kiss of death’ in infants
At just four weeks old, Noah spent two-and-a-half months in hospital recovering before relapsing in March this year
What is HSV-1 and why is it so dangerous in infants?
The herpes simplex virus is highly contagious and spreads via cold sores or genital ulcers in adults. Even if the sore is no longer active, the virus can remain in saliva and infect others.
Herpes can be very serious in newborns due to their immune systems not being strong enough to fight off the infection, earning the virus its nickname of the ‘kiss of death’ in infants.
If the virus spreads to a baby’s organs, nearly a third die even if they have been treated.
Treatment usually involves antiviral drugs given intravenously.
To reduce the risk of a baby being infected, people should not kiss infants if they have a cold sore and should wash their hands before touching them.
Noah – who is now nine months old – spent two-and-a-half months in hospital recovering and despite relapsing in March this year, he’s currently hitting all his milestones and will be on antiviral medication until 2020.
Now Ms White is determined to raise awareness, and a Facebook post she wrote about Noah’s story has since gone viral.
The phone sales agent said: ‘He was only four weeks old when he contracted herpes in his eye.
‘We went to a christening where friends were holding and kissing him – it could have been any of them.
‘I just want to make more people aware of the risks and consequences of kissing a baby, especially a newborn when you suffer from cold sores as I know how heartbreaking it can be seeing your baby so poorly.
‘Hardly anyone had seen the photos of Noah when he contracted the virus until I posted the pictures online but I thought it was important to spread more awareness.’
Now Ms White is sharing her son’s story in the hopes of raising awareness about the risks of infecting babies. Pictured: Noah in hospital
Noah, pictured with his mother and father Jake, will be on antivirals until at least next year
She continued: ‘What I didn’t realise, is that even if you don’t have an active cold sore, you still do carry the virus in your system and saliva, meaning you can never be too careful.’
Doctors at Barnsley Hospital children’s ward discovered the virus was on his eyelid, but luckily managed to catch it before it could enter the bloodstream and cause more damage.
HSV-1 is more commonly known as the cold sore virus which isn’t harmful to adults, but to babies it can be fatal.
The virus can spread to babies brains and cause organ failure – which is why Noah was left fighting for his life.
Noah spent two weeks on antivirals, and had a two-hour operation to tackle the virus.
Ms White added: ‘I was lucky enough to catch it in time and still have my little boy here with me today, but some might not be that lucky.
‘It was physically and mentally draining seeing Noah so poorly and would do anything to help stop families going through what we went through, so please, please, please don’t kiss newborns.
‘He’s crawling, he’s like a baby should be – we had two and half months in hospital because of this, now he can live a normal life again.’
Ms White, pictured with Jake and Noah in the hospital, added: ‘I was lucky enough to catch it in time and still have my little boy here with me today, but some might not be that lucky’