Newborn dies after contracting life-threatening illness from kiss, family says

The grieving parents of a newborn baby, who contracted a severe illness potentially after receiving a kiss from an infected person, announced her death on Tuesday in an emotional Facebook post.

"Our princess Mariana Reese Sifrit gained her angel wings at 8:41 am this morning in her daddy's arms and her mommy right beside her," Nicole Sifrit, Mariana's mother, posted. "She is now no longer suffering and is with the Lord. Thank you to everyone who has followed her journey and supported us through this. In her 18 days of life she made a huge impact on the world and we hope with Mariana's Story we save numerous newborns (SIC) life. R.I.P. sweet angel."

Mariana's illness first made headlines after Sifrit warned parents to protect their babies from being held or kissed by others who had not washed their hands or were sick. Mariana was less than a week old when she was admitted to a Des Moines hospital and diagnosed with Meningitis HSV-1, which is caused by the herpes virus.

Both Nicole and her husband, Shane, tested negative for the virus, which doctors said was likely passed on through a kiss from someone who carries the cold sore virus.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family pay for their expenses.

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