You might want to think twice before letting anyone else hold your baby.

A mother’s worst nightmare came true when her newborn daughter caught herpes and died from the “kiss of death.”

Aliza Rose Friend was only one week old when she died after developing neonatal herpes from the HSV-1 virus.

For the first 36 hours of her life, Aliza was seemingly healthy. However, after this short time frame Abigail, Aliza’s 19-year-old mother, noticed that her daughter had developed a fever and become very lethargic; so much so that she lost all interest in food.

The newborn’s condition was rapidly deteriorating, as the disease was devouring her brain and lungs, leaving her having seizures and difficult breathing.

When the doctors initially told Abigail and her partner, Tyler Hensley, that there was still some hope that Aliza would make it, they had no idea that their little girl would eventually lose her life to the virus. On May 20th, only a few weeks after being diagnosed with the virus herself, Aliza passed away. The medics explained to Friend afterward that it’s likely she contracted the virus from someone who kissed her shortly after they themselves had been infected.

A recent Facebook post by Fiend has amassed over half a million responses. The post read:, “WASH YOUR HANDS AND DON’T KISS BABIES. There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t think about her. I think about her every passing day”

Although doctors can offer a guess as to how Abigail’s daughter might have contracted the virus, such as from kissing or contaminated hands, there is no certain way to know for sure.

Friend stated, “Aliza was healthy for about a day and a half. Her body was destroyed by the virus in six and a half days. She was visited by a few family members and friends when she was born. The virus is common, so there’s no way to tell who passed it to her. For all I know, it could have even been a doctor”

What is neonatal herpes?

Neonatal herpes refers to when a newborn catches the virus. The herpes simplex virus is highly contagious and it can spread through cold sores or, in adults, genital ulcers.

Because their immune systems aren’t developed enough to combat the illness, herpes can be quite harmful in newborns. In the United Kingdom, it affects 1.65 babies per 100,000 births, as opposed to 33 per 100,000 in the United States.

If the virus spreads to a baby’s organs, almost one-third of them will die, even with treatment. A baby’s mother can pass the infection to her child during pregnancy or childbirth if she gets genital herpes for the first time within six weeks of becoming pregnant.

If a baby is kissed or if its mother, who has herpes sores on her breasts, breastfeeds it after birth, the infant is still in danger.

The most contagious stage of a cold sore is when it breaks open, but it can still spread until it has healed completely.

Treatment often includes antiviral agents that must be given intravenously. If you have a cold sore, avoid kissing babies and make sure to wash your hands before touching them.