My eldest daughter and her family took a trip to Disney World in Florida the end of April.
The day after they got home, my 12 year old grandson complained his left eye hurt and it was slightly swollen and had had seeped a clear liquid that crusted over into a yellowish color.
They prescribed an antibiotic and steroid medications. Six days later, on Mother's Day Jonah's eye wasn't any better, in fact it looked worse and was turning purple and seeping even more. My youngest daughter pointed out that he had several small 'dotted circles' around the eye area and side of face. You can see 3 on the side of his nose as well near the corner of his eye.
The next morning, those small circles turned into lesions and began to seep and crust over. Notice how his eye is turning purple.
They determined Jonah had contracted Type 1 Herpes simplex virus. So how did he get it?
They asked my daughter questions about what was different in the last week or so from any other day. She told them they just got back from a trip to Disney World. They wanted to know if Jonah had gone into the ocean. Yes, once. What else did they do there besides go to the park. They went to Universal Studios. No, that wasn't it. What else did you do? They went miniature golfing and there was a baby alligator there for picture taking.
The pediatric specialist sent Jonah to an Ophthamologist who was in the same building as an emergency patient and was seen immediately. His eyes were dilated and lesions were found on his lower eyelids and the whites of both eyes. Thankfully no lesions appeared on his corneas, which would have been a problem.
Sadly, there is no cure for herpes (yet) and Jonah will carry this virus in his body always. There is a chance once this is cleared up after treatment, he could break out in his eyes again. If that happens, he will be put on a special medication for the rest of his life.
**Adult alligators do not carry the virus and researchers have found that alligator blood serum destroys some human virus' such as HIV, Herpes Simplex, some fungal diseases and staph infection. Scientists predict in the near future there will likely be a topical ointment for human use.**
Please think twice about letting your children/grandchildren handle baby/juvenile alligators. That's not to say that all children will contract the virus, as my grandson's step brother age 16 also held the small gator and he did not have any problems. Better safe than sorry.