Iowa baby dies after likely contracting virus from a kiss

IOWA CITY, Iowa — An Iowa infant whose fight for life after coming in contact with someone with a cold sore made international headlines has died, according to WHO-TV.

“Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy’s arms and her mommy right beside her,” Nicole Sifrit posted on her Facebook page Tuesday morning. “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.”

Mariana was born a health baby girl on July 1. Six days later, her parents left their wedding early to take her to Blank Children’s Hospital when she stopped eating and couldn’t wake up.

Doctors told Nicole and her husband, Shane, that Mariana had contracted Meningitis HSV1, likely from someone with a cold sore who touched Mariana, who then touched her mouth.

Nicole shared a story on Facebook July 8 about another baby who contracted the same virus, writing, "If you gather anything from it DON'T LET ANYONE kiss your baby. This story is what I'm living through right now."

“I always thought this stuff happens and it’s a shame and never thought it would happen to me,” Nicole told WHO last week, “I was not prepared at all. Keep your babies isolated. Don’t let just anyone come visit them. 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 GoFundMe account has been created to help with Mariana's medical bills.