The kiss of death

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

With their delicate skin and their scent, babies encourage us to pamper them as much as possible, from the first moment they arrive home. But, while kissing is the most common display of affection, it's not always appropriate. Infants must in fact be handled with care. Their immune systems are still very weak and they do not have vaccinations. This makes them more susceptible to infections which very often present with severe symptoms. It is therefore necessary that strangers stay away from the newborn and even mom and dad should have some care. It is not recommended to kiss the baby's mouth and hands. In fact, through the hands the child could transfer any germs and bacteria to the mouth, thus making them enter the circulation. A particularly insidious enemy is herpes. Known by all as "lip fever", it is an annoying but harmless infection when it affects large children or adults. Instead, it is a very serious thing, and potentially fatal in the newborn. The disease can have three different manifestations: local, affecting the skin, eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth. It is the less severe form and if treated promptly with antivirals it heals completely; which affects the nervous system and usually occurs in the form of encephalitis; disseminated, which affects multiple organs at the same time and can lead to respiratory and liver failure. Typical symptoms are blistering of the mouth or face, high fever, lethargy, irritability, seizures, and difficulty breathing. In any case, it is always necessary to contact the doctor, but in the most serious manifestations, the child must be immediately taken to the emergency room as herpes infection if not treated promptly can lead to serious neurological consequences and even death. Therapy consists of the administration of antiviral drugs for several weeks. But prevention is always better than cure. During the first few months, a kiss can be lethal. Let's postpone them and remember to wash our hands well before picking up a baby.


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