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Cold sores can be dangerous: wear mouth protection when nursing babies
According to health experts, two out of three people are infected with herpes viruses. Affected people have contact with babies, this can also be dangerous for the little ones, sometimes even life-threatening. A mouth guard should therefore always be worn when nursing babies.
Many are unaware of their infection
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), more than 85 percent of Germans are infected with herpes viruses, and the majority do not even notice it. The viruses often only become active through certain influences such as stress or strong sunlight and lead to herpes in the mouth. Some people need to be extra careful. Adults with cold sores should be very careful when contacting young children. Because even a kiss from them could be fatal to babies, as a case from Great Britain showed. Infected people should always wear a face mask when nursing babies.
Take special care when dealing with babies
If parents suffer from cold sores, they should be particularly careful when dealing with their newborn or infant, but also with immunocompromised children, the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) writes on its website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de". Refraining from kisses and a mouthguard protect infants or children at risk from infection. Affected people should also pay attention to special hygiene and often wash and disinfect their hands carefully.
The virus can trigger a life-threatening situation
“In newborns, the virus can quickly trigger a life-threatening situation by attacking the central nervous system, the liver, the lungs, the skin, and the eyes. Permanent brain damage can also remain after an infection, ”explained Dr. Monika Niehaus, pediatrician and member of the expert panel of the BVKJ.
If inflammation of the brain (herpes encephalitis) develops, the symptoms can initially resemble flu. The infant thus becomes pale in color, appears listless or restless, is shaky or cramped. There may also be a fever. In such cases, according to the experts, rapid treatment with antiviral drugs and intensive medical care is required.
Do not breastfeed if your nipples are affected
If the nipples are affected, a mother must absolutely refrain from breastfeeding. “The blisters should not touch the sick. This also means that they must not scrape off the crust. If the vesicular fluid gets into the eyes, for example, this can lead to permanent corneal opacity and reduced vision, ”says Dr. Never.
If a newborn develops a rash, fever or irritation of the eyelids or in the eyes in the first month of life, parents should immediately consult their pediatrician.
Treat herpes as early as possible
In adults, health experts advise treating cold sores as early as possible. In the normal course, drugs are often used to inhibit virus multiplication. However, the infection does not always have to be treated with antiviral drugs. Sometimes home remedies for herpes, such as manuka honey or tea tree oil, are sufficient. It can take up to two weeks from the outbreak of the herpes to the healing. (ad)