IOWA CITY, Iowa (WFLA) – An 18-day old baby died Tuesday morning and now an Iowa mother is warning other parents about the serious, life-threatening virus that killed her baby girl.
At a week old, Mariana Sifrit contracted a deadly form of meningitis that doctors said she may have gotten from a kiss.
Her mother, Nicole Sifrit, posted on Facebook that Mariana had died.
“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,” she posted, “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 born July 1 and a week later, Nicole and her husband Shane noticed she had stopped eating and didn’t respond when they tried to wake her, WHO TV reported. “It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail,” her father said.
On July 7, doctors diagnosed Mariana with viral meningitis HSV-1 caused by the herpes virus, which is spread through close contact.
Nicole and Shane both tested negative for the virus, CNN reported, meaning the newborn likely contracted it from a visitor. The virus can be transmitted through someone who has the cold sore virus.
“I always thought this stuff happens and it’s a shame and never thought it would happen to me,” Nicole told WHO, “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.”
A GoFundMe account was set up to help with medical expenses: gofundme.com/53bkun-help-baby-mariana
More than $4,000 has already been raised.
This story was originally posted by WFLA, a Nexstar contributing station.