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Baby's health

01st Jul 2024

A warning has been issued to new parents after spike in cold sore cases

Kat O'Connor

Parents have been advised to protect their children as cases rise

A warning has been shared with parents of newborn babies after a spike in cold sore cases in Ireland.

The HSE has urged parents to be wary of anyone making contact with their infants, especially those who may suffer from the cold sore virus.

Kissing an infant if you’re infected with the cold sore virus can be incredibly harmful to them.

According to the HSE, it can even be fatal for newborns.

They stated, “Cold sores can be fatal to newborn babies and dangerous for older babies or children.

“Do not kiss babies if you have a cold sore. It can lead to neonatal herpes.”

They added, “In rare situations, cold sores can cause complications for older babies and children. The most serious of these is encephalitis when the virus causes an inflammation of the brain.”

If you or your partner is suffering from the virus then you should practice good hand hygiene and avoid kissing your infant so you don’t spread the virus.

If you think you have or are about to develop a cold sore:

  • do not kiss your baby
  • wash your hands before contact with your baby
  • cover up cold sores before breastfeeding to avoid transferring the virus by touching your mouth and then your breast

You should contact your GP immediately if your infant has a cold sore that won’t heal.