A UK mother has issued a warning after her baby daughter was left unable to eat or drink after she contracted the 'kiss of death' herpes virus on her face.
Katie Taylor, 34, says she's unsure how her 10-month-old baby Lily contracted the virus, which can be fatal in babies.
- Catching herpes raises the chance you'll end up with Alzheimer's - study
- Massive herpes 'spike' blamed on Coachella festival
Taylor told Caters she was told by doctors to "keep an eye" on the singular red spot on her daughter's chin.
After two more spots and her daughter appearing in considerable pain, Taylor rushed her to the hospital where doctors recognised it as herpes - but as three days had passed, antibiotics could not be administered.
"I couldn't believe it, I have always wrapped Lily in cotton wool as I lost a baby before her and I didn't want her to ever contract anything harmful," says Taylor.
It took four weeks before Lily's mouth cleared up just in time for her first birthday.
"It took a month for her skin to clear up and although it wasn't my fault, I felt embarrassed with her in public as people were looking at me like I had neglected her," Taylor explains.
"She will be prone to cold sores for the rest of her life now."
Taylor says she believes her daughter contracted the virus after going on holiday with family.
"I know some [family] members suffer with cold sores.
"The germ sare there before the cold sore which is why whoever kissed her was probably unaware until a few days after."
She's now warning people who suffer with cold sores to avoid kissing children to prevent this happening in the future.
"People should definitely think twice about kissing babies.
"It is hard to determine who did it, but I am now super cautious of who kisses her now as I would hate for this to happen again.
"If she was a little younger, this could have killed her - she was so ill and it was heart-breaking to see as there was nothing I could do."
The New Zealand Herpes Foundation recommends that any baby who develops pustular skin lesions, particularly on the scalp or face be referred immediately to a paediatrician.