Can a simple kiss really be dangerous to newborns?
Dr. Bhavani: Yes it can. To some extent, some dangers depend on the immune status of the new born as the child is exposed to many diseases and infections that can be transmitted by one way or the other.
Is it easy for a newborn to contact diseases/infections from a kiss or other ways?
Dr. Bhavani: Yes, an adult with a cold sore, which is caused by the Herpes simplex virus spreads from skin to skin contact, like kissing and also by sharing razors, lipsticks, tooth brushes, eating from the same utensils or even sharing towels. The virus lies in the dormant cells of the skin, and of the mouth and breaks out into disease when the immune system of the individual goes down. Though Herpes Simplex I virus is commonly distributed as a benign infection in the population, it can have a much more severe effect on newborns. Symptoms of the herpes simplex virus typically appear as a blister or as multiple blisters on or around affected areas — usually the mouth, in this case. The blisters break, leaving tender sores.
Often, the appearance of Herpes Simplex virus is typical and no testing is needed to confirm the diagnosis. If a health care provider is uncertain, herpes simplex can be diagnosed with lab tests and virus cultures. Furthermore, individuals with other communicable diseases like cold and flu, tuberculosis, etc. can pass on the infection when they kiss or touch a newborn. Infectious mononucleosis, commonly called as kissing disease, is another infectious disease that spreads by kissing in older children, mostly in teenagers. It is caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV).