Baby boy dies from cold sore virus less than two weeks after birth

Baby boy Kit died at 13 days old after he contracted herpes simplex virus – the same infection, which gives people cold sores. Source: Kit Tarka Foundation

A baby boy has died from the cold sore virus less than two weeks after birth, leaving his parents devastated and warning how dangerous the infection can be.

James de Malplaquet and Sarah Higson’s 13-day-old boy Kit died after being diagnosed with herpes simplex virus (HSV1), the same infection which causes cold sores, last year, The Sun reports.

Kit was born in Brighton in September, 2017 via an emergency caesarean at 39 weeks.

Doctors performed tests on him and gave the baby antibiotics. However, they didn’t test him for viral infections.

According to the Kit Tarka Foundation, started by his parents, the baby left hospital eight days after his birth but returned the following day because he “wasn’t waking up at all and really struggling to feed”.

Sarah Higson with baby Kit. Source: Kit Tarka Foundation

He was diagnosed with the cold sore virus and a blood test showed infection markers.

Kit fought and “got a bit better”, but on day 12 he had to rushed to intensive care.

“There they did everything they could to save him but it was too late and he died early the next morning,” his parents wrote.

“Standing by helpless as a doctor performed CPR on our baby’s tiny swollen and bleeding body is a memory which will haunt us forever.”

Paediatrician Dr Patrick Davies described the cold sore virus as a “very dangerous infection” and added if it isn’t spotted “babies suffer multi-organ collapse”. 

Kit’s parents Sarah Higson and James de Malplaquet are now raising awareness for neonatal herpes and the dangers of the virus. Source: Kit Tarka Foundation

Ms Higson underwent a blood test, which showed no signs of the virus. Kit’s father also had no signs of cold sores either. 

It’s not known how he got the virus, which killed him. 

According to a study published in the BMJ medical journal in 2013, it’s estimated one baby dies in the UK from neonatal herpes every week.

Kit’s parents now hope to raise awareness for not only neonatal herpes but to also fund projects, which support research into all causes of preventable neonatal death.