An Iowa couple announced this morning  death of their 18 day’s old baby daughter, who has succumbed to a herpes infection likly contracted through a kiss.For Shane and Nicole Sifrit, this month was supposed to be brimming with joy, marked by the birth of baby Mariana  their first child together  followed by their wedding celebration just days later.But on July 7, two hours after the new parents exchanged their vows, their six day’s old infant was rushed to hospital, having contracted a life-threatening herpes infection through a kiss.On Monday, Nicole Sifrit, 33, told her baby’s doctors at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines were running out of options to save her life, and just after 8.40am on Tuesday, Mariana lost her fight against the virus and passed away in her father’s arms.’She is now no longer suffering and is with  Lord,’ Nicole wrote in a Facebook post. ‘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. R.I.P. sweet angel’

Kissing illness: Doctors diagnosed Mariana with meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by  herpes virus. Both her parents (mom Nicle pictured on her wedding day) tested negative for the virus, suggesting that she had contracted it from someone who had visited the family 

The couple told  station WQAD that Mariana had become infected with meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the herpes virus, also responsible for cold sores.



Meningitis may be caused by bacteria, fungi, or other types of germs. But many are caused by viruses. Most are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), the virus that also causes cold sores. This virus can be spread by sexual contact or from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. HSV1 infection can also be sexually transmitted to genital area. These viruses remain in  body throughout a person’s life, even when they’re not causing signs of infection.Symptoms may include fever, light sensitivity, headache, and a stiff neck. If you have other symptoms, such as confusion, seizures, sleepiness, or a focal neurologic deficit  a nerve function problem that affects a specific area  these may suggest that your brain is also affected.According to Johns Hopkins Health Library, herpes meningitis can be caused by bacteria, and it can be transmitted by sexual contact or passed from an infected mother to the baby during childbirth.In Mariana’s case, however, both of her parents tested negative for  virus, raising the possibility that their daughter had caught life-threatening illness from someone carrying herpes, but not necessarily showing symptoms, who had visited the family in the days after her birth and kissed her. Nicole’s friend from high school Rachel O’Toole tells that the 33 year’s old woman also has another daughter and two sons from previous relationships.With her older children, Sifrit did not let anyone outside their immediate family to interact with them while they were newborns, but after Mariana’s birth Nicole and Shane allowed visitors at  hospital.‘They are not pointing fingers,’ O’Toole noted. ‘It’s not gonna change anything.’  Mariana came into  world on July 1 as a healthy baby after a complication-free pregnancy and a quick delivery, according to O’Toole. On July 7, Nicole and Shane got married.But their wedding festivities had to be cut short after  newlyweds noticed that Mariana grew pale, stopped eating and was slow to wake up.The Sifrits left their reception and took the baby to Blank Children’s Hospital to have her checked out. There, doctors made  devastating diagnosis of meningitis HSV-1.

‘It immediately went downhill from there. Within two hours she had quit breathing and all of her organs just started to fail,’ Shane Sifrit earlier told WHO-TV.In  first 48 hours, the newborn had undergone a half-dozen blood transfusions, but her kidneys failed, requiring that she be put on dialysis, and her liver stopped functioning properly as well, which resulted in internal bleeding.On July 10, Mariana was airlifted to University of Iowa hospital, where teams of specialists went to work trying to keep the baby alive and stop the deadly infection.Nicole Sifrit had been posting regular updates on Mariana’s health crisis on her Facebook page, along with devastating images showing the tiny girl hooked up to a life support machine, with a tangle of tubes, IV lines and needles sprouting from every part of her body.

On Sunday, Nicole wrote on her Facebook page that she and Shane were said that if Mariana’s liver does not repair itself, she will not be able to survive.  Then on Monday Mariana’s already precarious condition apparently took a turn for worse, prompting her mother to write ‘My heart is crushed, my baby is declining fast! She has no brain activity and her lungs and heart are failing along with her kidneys and liver. They are running out of options for her.’

She followed up two hours later with another post, calling on a higher power for a miracle: ‘I am still holding onto Faith and Hope! I have to even though they are running out of options that is my only option I have.’  Had Mariana pulled through,  family were told by her doctors that she would have had long-term health complications with her brain, kidneys and liver because of  damage inflicted upon her vital organs by the infection.Nicole’s friend Rachel tells that the family, including their older girl, are heartbroken.‘Her daughter was super excited to have a sister, so she’s very sad it did not work out,’ O’Toole told adding that her friend is a good mom who always puts her kids first.

‘Her life is her kids,’ she told. In the midst of  devastating ordeal, Nicole and Shane Sifrit are raising awareness about their daughter’s condition and warning other parents to keep infants isolated and not to feel embarrassed about turning would be visitors away.’Don’t let just anyone come visit them,’ Nicole told earlier. ‘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 GoFoundMe campaign has been launched to help Sifrit family with Mariana’s medical and funeral expenses, including a $12,000 fee for helicopter flight between the two hospitals. As of Tuesday evening, just over $5,800 has been raised.’They just want to give their little girl a burial and have closure,’ Rachel O’Toole said of  bereaved parents.

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