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Neonatal Problems: Neonatal Herpes

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a serious infection that affects all the major organs, often damaging them permanently. It can also cause death.
The herpes simplex virus infects 1 in every 2,500 - 5,000 neonates. Most mothers of infants who acquire neonatal herpes lack histories of clinically evident genital herpes.

The American Medical Association states that:

" At the onset of labour, all women should be examined and carefully questioned regarding whether they have symptoms of genital herpes "

The risk for transmission to the neonate from an infected mother is high among women who acquire genital herpes near the time of delivery (30%-50%) and is low among women who have a history of recurrent herpes at term and women who acquire genital HSV during the first half of pregnancy (3%).
The infant may be infected before pregnancy or during pregnancy, especially in a vaginal birth.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. Journal of the American Medical Association, Women's Health Information Center - Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Newborn Herpes Simplex
    From HONselect
     (def;articles & more)   

Herpes Genitalis

    Recent articles

Herpes Genitalis


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Contact Last modified: Oct 21 2004