Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Baby died after 'mother's kiss'

Herpes simplex
Jennifer's vital organs failed after she contracted herpes

A newborn baby girl may have died when her mother kissed her, an inquest in Lancashire has heard.

Jennifer Schofield was 11 days old when her vital organs failed after contracting a strain of herpes in November 2006.

The baby's mother, Ruth, 35, of Binyon Court, in Lancaster, transmitted the virus by kissing her or breastfeeding.

Coroner Dr James Adeley recorded a narrative verdict, and said nobody was blamed for failing to spot the virus.

The inquest heard the infection herpes simplex virus (HSV) was the type passed on through a cold sore.

'Totally devastated'

Mr Adeley said Miss Schofield probably caught HSV in the late stages of her pregnancy after she developed flu-like symptoms days before giving birth.

Jennifer became unwell and died in Lancaster Royal Infirmary in December.

Miss Schofield has since been campaigning to raise awareness of the condition, which kills an estimated six babies a year in the UK.

She has written to the prime minister asking for more literature to be put in clinics about the illness.

She added: "I have been left totally devastated and heartbroken by the death of Jennifer. The pain has not lessened.

"More needs to be done as this can happen to anyone without them knowing about it."

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