If a woman with genital herpes has virus present in the birth canal during delivery, herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be spread to an infant, causing neonatal herpes, a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Neonatal herpes can cause an overwhelming infection resulting in lasting damage to the central nervous system, mental retardation, or death. Medication, if given early, may help prevent or reduce lasting damage, but even with antiviral medication, this infection has serious consequences for most infected infants. Herpes can also be spread to the baby in the first weeks of life if he or she is kissed by someone with an active cold sore (oral herpes). Herpes and Pregnancy – Covers transmission, treatments, medications, symptoms, self-help, diet & nutrition, current research and information, products for Herpes Pregnancy, and URL pointers to other sites. While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth. The risk is also high if she has prior infection with HSV-1 but not HSV-2. The provider can also take a viral culture at delivery to aid in diagnosis, should the baby become sick later. Herpes in newborn babies (neonatals) can be a very serious condition. Herpes can also spread to internal organs, such as the liver and lungs.
See also: Antiviral Medication for Genital Herpes written for patients. Although rare in the UK, neonatal herpes is a severe condition and carries a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Aciclovir is not licensed for use in pregnancy but is not known to be harmful and should be first-line treatment. Remember there may not be obvious symptoms in the mother and HSV can be transmitted through asymptomatic viral shedding, and indeed this is most often the case. Infections during pregnancy may be transmitted to newborns: HSV-1 and HSV-2 may cause eye or skin lesions, meningoencephalitis, disseminated infections, or foetal malformations. The newborn could be also infected by HSV-1, that may represent almost one-third of all new genital HSV diagnoses. Both primary and recurrent maternal infection can result in congenital disease, even if the risk after recurrent infection is small. Neonatal herpes simplex is a rare but serious condition, usually caused by vertical transmission of herpes simplex virus from mother to newborn. Around 1 in every 3,500 babies in the United States contract the infection. CNS herpes is an infection of the nervous system and the brain that can lead to encephalitis. See alsoedit.
These infections can be passed to the fetus or newborn in two ways. A woman can also pass the virus to her infant during delivery or through breast milk, however, infection by these routes is less likely to cause severe problems for the baby. In rare cases, babies will develop gonorrhea that causes blindness or meningitis. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as blindness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain). Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the newborn period, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. Oral sex with an infected partner can transmit HSV-1 to the genital area. The risk is greatest for mothers with a first-time infection, because the virus can be transmitted to the infant during childbirth. Babies born to mothers infected with genital herpes are often treated with the antiviral drug acyclovir, which can help suppress the virus. The usual cause of genital herpes, but it can also cause oral herpes.
Genital Herpes In Pregnancy. Infections During Pregnancy
Some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can affect a fetus during pregnancy or a baby during childbirth. Babies born while the mother is infected can get eye infections that may lead to blindness. They may also develop joint infections or potentially deadly blood infections. Having a STD during pregnancy can create potential complications for the pregnancy. B Fetus is at higher risk if herpes is contracted during pregnancy, and can lead to neonatal herpes. However, genital herpes can also be transmitted when there are no visible symptoms. A herpes infection may occur on the cheeks or in the nose, but facial herpes is very uncommon. Fortunately, neonatal herpes is rare. Maternal to fetal infections are transmitted from the mother to her fetus, either across the placenta during fetal development (prenatal) or during labor and passage through the birth canal (perinatal). Other infections can cause preterm labor, fetal or neonatal death, or serious illness in newborns. The fetal infection rate is above 60 if maternal infection occurs during the third trimester, but the most severe fetal complications occur with first-trimester infection. In the United States about 8,000 infants annually are born with potentially fatal CMV-related birth defects. If a woman is having an outbreak during labor and delivery and there is an active herpes outbreak in or near the birth canal, the doctor will do a cesarean section to protect the baby. It is also not a genetic condition so will not be passed onto your children this way. This transmission of the virus to the fetus causes neonatal herpes, a potentially fatal condition. To be infected with herpes in the last few weeks of pregnancy is rare but it may account for almost 50 of all cases of neo-natal herpes. Neonatal HSV infection is a rare, but potentially fatal, disease of babies, occurring within the first 4-6 weeks of life. Most neonatal HSV infections are acquired at birth, generally from mothers with an unrecognised genital herpes infection acquired during pregnancy. Marked differences in incidence can also exist within countries.
According to the World Health Organisation the oral version of the virus, HSV-1, is common throughout the world and is a lifelong infection with no cure though the symptoms can go into remission. Neonatal herpes, which can also be transmitted by infected mothers during childbirth, is rare but can be fatal. Viral infections in pregnancy are major causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Infections can develop in the neonate transplacentally, perinatally (from vaginal secretions or blood), or postnatally (from breast milk or other sources). Ninety percent of infections are perinatally transmitted in the birth canal. Neonates born to mothers with active measles virus infection are at risk of developing neonatal measles, but no congenital syndrome has been described. Herpes can be passed from mother to child resulting in a potentially fatal infection (neonatal herpes). If herpes symptoms are present, a cesarean delivery is recommended to prevent HSV transmission to the infant. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as blindness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain).