IOWA CITY, Iowa :
A West Des Moines infant baby has died after being hospitalized for 10 days after coming in physical contact with someone suffering from a cold sore.
“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” Nicole Sifrit posted on her Facebook page Tuesday morning, “in her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana’s Story we save numerous newborns life.”
Mariana was a healthy baby girl born on July 1st. Just six days later her parents were compelled to leave wedding early to take her to Blank Children’s Hospital when she ceased to eat and would not wake up. Doctors informed Nicole and her husband, Shane, that Mariana had been infected with Meningitis HSV1. It was probable that someone with a cold sore had come in physical contact with Mariana who then touched her mouth, spreading the virus.
“I always thought this stuff happens and it’s a shame and never thought it would happen to me,” Nicole told us last week, “I was not prepared at all. Keep your babies isolated. Don’t let just anyone come visit them. Make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don’t let people kiss your baby and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”
"They touch her, and then she touches her mouth with her hand," Nicole explains. That's why doctors say diseases spread quickly in babies.
Mariana's parents were both tested for the virus and the results were negative. Mariana was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. Her condition immediately deteriorated. "Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail," her parents emotionally recall.
This week, Mariana became even more ill, and she was airlifted from Des Moines to the Iowa City Children's Hospital so doctors can "just constantly watch every vital sign," her mom says. "She is currently on life support to help her by right now."
However, even in adverse circumstances, baby Mariana is fighting.
"She has a kidney team, a liver team, a blood team, a neurology team," her dad says. But both parents, understandably, remain shaken up. "I always thought this stuff happens, and it's a shame. [I] never thought it would happen to me and [I] was not prepared at all."
They caution other new parents to "keep your babies isolated, don't let just anyone come visit them, and make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don't let people kiss your baby, and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby."
Doctors were quoted as saying that best care would be possible if Mariana to stay in the hospital for at least another month. The virus has caused a lot of harm, they say. If she survives, they expect her to confront with lifelong health problems.
According to the Meningitis Research Foundation, many people are infected with the herpes virus, without visibly manifesting symptoms or signs.