After a simple kiss kills his newborn daughter, the father breaks his silence.

WARNING: This post contains information regarding stillbirth and baby loss, which may be upsetting to some readers.

Since Mallory’s death, he has been mostly silent. It’s taken him over a month to write this, but if anything positive can come from her death and save somebody else from suffering, then he’d be negligent not to make an attempt.

Wash one’s hands if one has a new baby or will be around a new infant. A lot. If someone wants to hold one’s kid, they must first wash their hands. Then force them to do it again.

Infants are especially vulnerable to HSV-1.

HSV-1, often known as the virus that causes cold sores, is a kind of herpes virus (Herpes Simplex Virus-1). It is exceedingly widespread, with the World Health Organization estimating that 67% of all persons on the planet are infected.

To make matters worse, many infected persons will never display symptoms and may not even be aware they are afflicted. It is almost certainly deadly for babies, as it was for Mallory.

One would think it should have been simple to figure out. Someone with an oozing cold sore must have kissed her on the lips, right? Mallory never came into contact with somebody who had an active cold sore. Never. Nobody had ever kissed her on the lips. Despite this, she contracted HSV-1 during her first week of life, and they had to witness her slowly die for about two weeks.

Mallory couldn’t keep her hands out of her mouth or eyes, and she was continuously sucking on her fingers, so the virus probably certainly got into her hands at some time. Even without an active cold sore, it is possible to be infectious.

She had no signs other than a high temperature for much of the first week, and by the time the blisters appeared, it was probably too late for the antivirals to work. Given that the cold sore virus is present in more than half of the world, one does not understand why so few newborns die from it, or why their lovely daughter Mallory was the unlucky statistic, but that’s how the world works, he guesses.

If you’re reading this, please be extra cautious about washing one’s hands around infants. Statistically, whether one realizes it or not, one is probably infected with HSV-1.

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