In January 2015, Briony Caitlin Klingberg was a 10-year-old little girl living in Adelaide, Australia.
One day, she began to feel feverish and sick. It wasn’t until she stopped showing interest in eating and drinking that her mother, Bridget, became particularly concerned.
Bridget took Briony to several doctors, but they were never sent home with a diagnosis. It was a complete guessing game as to the reason for Briony’s condition.
No one detected Briony was suffering from herpes simplex virus, a
common yet dangerous illness.
Back at home, Briony started vomiting and was having trouble swallowing.
Her parents took her back to the doctor, where white ulcers were detected in the back of her throat that looked just like cold sores. However, Briony was diagnosed with a general throat infection and prescribed antibiotics.
Briony was sent home and was told to come back the following week for a follow-up.
Tragically, Briony did not live long enough to return to the doctor.
Briony Klingberg, a healthy and active 10-year-old, suddenly felt feverish and sick. She stopped eating and drinking, and it became harder for her to swallow.
Her mother, Bridget, took Briony to several doctors — but no one could diagnose her.
Doctors found ulcers in Briony’s throat and was sent home with antibiotics. But her case was much more severe.
Briony was suffering from herpes simplex virus, a common yet dangerous illness.
Three days later, Briony suffered massive organ failure and died as a result of her untreated case of herpes simplex virus.
Bridget, now a grieving and heartbroken mother, was furious with the doctors who treated her daughter.
“You trust that if she’s sick enough, they would say she needs to stay in.”
The herpes virus was not detected until after Briony’s death.
The doctor who treated Briony said he had only ever seen the virus present on the tongue, gums, and inside the lips — never
on the back of the throat.
“I’m reminded of Briony and her illness every time I see a child… Anytime I look into anyone’s throat,” he said.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections have a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited to:
Abrupt onset of illness
Inability to eat and/or drink
Increased drooling in infants due to pain on swallowing
Vesicular lesions on the tongue
Most primary HSV-1 infections occur in infancy and childhood, and are transmitted primarily by contact with infected saliva.
In 2014, a newborn baby
died from complications due to herpes simplex virus — which was transferred to her by a single kiss.
Now, more parents are speaking out about the dangers of kissing babies, for this very reason.
Every parent should be aware of the signs and symptoms of herpes simplex virus. Please
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