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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL/CNN) – An Iowa mother is warning other parents after her young son tested positive for the herpes virus.
Samantha Rodgers said she doesn’t know who gave her son the virus, but now 1-year-old Juliano will carry this burden for the rest of his life.
“All I can say is just be cautious, it can be anybody your best friend, your sister, your brother, or your mom,” she said. “If you see a cold sore or anything on them just don’t let them come by your baby.”
On July 21, Rodgers noticed red blisters in and around her son’s mouth. At one point, doctors told her he had the flu or a bad case of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. But his symptoms worsened.
“His sores were growing onto his hands and his neck and his stomach,” Rodgers said.
Doctors at Blank Children Hospital in Des Moines tested Juliano for herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV), and his results came back positive.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cold sores are highly contagious and can spread through saliva, skin-to-skin contact, or by touching an object handled by someone infected with the virus.
HSV is especially dangerous for babies under 6-months-old, because their immune systems are still developing.
Once infected with the virus, some children may never get another cold sore while others may have multiple outbreaks a year.
Rodgers said someone with the virus may have inadvertently touched or kissed her son, passing it on.
“It sucks because it’s a lifelong problem now,” she said. “I don’t know how to handle this. I am trying my best. It breaks my heart, and I can’t do anything to help him.”
Rodgers said Juliano should be going home soon to finish treatment.
For more information on the virus, click here.
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