Baby left fighting for life after catching herpes virus from relative’s kiss

A baby almost died after contracting herpes when he was kissed by relative with a cold sore .

Having been born born four weeks early with jaundice, little Roman Dransfield was rushed to a neonatal ward in an incubator and was only allowed out for kisses and cuddles with family members.

When his parents, Matthew, 28, and Danniella, 27, held him on the fifth day, they noticed that he had a rash on his head.

It soon developed into blisters which doctors took swabs of.

Later that day the couple were informed that their son had contracted herpes, which can be deadly to young children.


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They immediately knew it must have been passed to Roman by a family member who had kissed him and also suffered with the virus.

Thankfully, after three weeks of antiviral medicine to stop the virus from attacking his body, Roman, now 11-months-old, survived.

His parents have been given medicine and cream to treat any future flare ups.

Now, the couple, from Rotherham, Yorkshire, are sharing their story to encourage people not to kiss newborn babies to avoid passing the virus onto them.



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Danniella, a hairdresser, said: "When he was first born family members would come in and out to see him whilst he was in the neonatal ward and as anyone would, they would pick him up for a cuddle and kiss.

"Everyone who visited said they didn't have an active cold sore, so we will never know who passed the virus onto him.

"One day we noticed he had a rash on his face which continued to get worse and eventually developed into blister-like spots – so the doctor decided to take swabs.

"The doctors put him on three types of antibiotics and then antiviral drugs when they suspected it was herpes – and later that day it was confirmed that he had contracted the virus."

The couple were told that someone who carried the virus must have passed it on to Roman.

"Due to some of our family members suffering with the virus we assumed that must have been how," Danniella continued.

"They told us that the virus could have killed Roman if it had got to his organs, but luckily after three weeks of medicine in the hospital he was sent home and we were taught how to look after his flare ups.

"We knew nothing about how dangerous a kiss could be for a newborn, so we hope that by sharing our story it will encourage others to think twice before they do."

Since Roman's battle with the herpes virus, his parents have been too scared to kiss their son fearing he will become ill again.

Danniella added: "Myself and Matthew haven't kissed Roman since the day we saw the rash on his head in hospital.

"We have strict rules now that neither us nor any family or friends can kiss him as we are too scared about him getting sick again.

"He hasn't been discharged from his paediatrician yet as he continues to suffer with flare ups, so we don't want to get in the way of any recovery he could be doing.

"We can treat the flare ups at home with the antiviral medication they have given us so that stops him from being in pain.

"We don't know yet if we'll ever be confident enough to kiss him again, we're just taking every day as it comes and ensuring he's as healthy as can be as that's our priority."

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