DES MOINES, Iowa -- A mother is putting out a stern warning after she said her 1-year-old son tested positive for herpes.
Baby Juliano is in terrible pain after cold sores took over his face and mouth, KWWL reports.
"He had blisters growing outside of his mouth," said Samantha Rodgers, his mother.
Rodgers said doctors told her he had the flu or a bad case of hand foot and mouth disease, but it got worse. Juliano was sent to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines.
"His sores were growing onto his hands and his neck and his stomach," Rodgers said. "They swabbed his mouth and tested it and it came back as, he has herpes."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cold sores are highly contagious and can be spread by saliva, skin and touching things that are contaminated with the herpes virus. Rodgers said she's not completely sure who gave her baby the virus.
"Pretty much, this person gave my baby herpes not intentionally," she explained. "All I can say is just be cautious, it can be anybody your best friend, your sister, your brother, or your mom, it can be anybody. Everybody needs to wash their hands sanitize if you see a cold sore or anything on them just don't let them come by your baby."
Baby Juliano is doing better, but he will now carry this burden for the rest of his life.
"It sucks because this is a lifelong problem now. Every time he runs a fever, every time he's sick, he can have an outbreak. I don't know how to handle this, I am trying to do the best, it's sad, it breaks my heart and I can't do anything to help him," Rodgers said.
Rodgers said Juliano should be going home soon to finish treatment. The next goal is to get Juliano to eat something, which Rodgers said he hasn't done since last week.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, symptoms like a fever or blisters can start two to 12 days after exposure.
Mom warns parents after baby contracts herpes