Baby dies after being infected with cold sore virus through kiss, parents say

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Ten days after being infected by the cold sore virus, a baby has died.

Baby Mariana died Tuesday morning at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Her parents claim someone with the cold sore virus kissed and infected her, ultimately causing her organs to fail.

Doctors at Blank Children's Hospital said about 50 percent of the population has the herpes simplex virus -- whether they know it or not.

As a precaution, doctors always warn people to wash their hands before handling babies.

WATCH: Child dies after kiss

Doctors said it's extremely rare for babies to get the infection through a kiss.

"About 85 percent of all infections of this virus in newborn babies happens due to exposure at the time of delivery. Being born through the birth canal is how the baby comes into contact with this virus," Dr. Amaran Moodley said. "It's much less common for a baby to get this infection through parent or family member who has a cold sore."

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