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Infectious Diseases

Can i be that ingnorant?

03/10/2006

Question:

Iam mentally torturing myself.I suffer frm recurrent genital H.which i had 3years prior to my pregnancy.I had a vaginal birth.IF my baby was infected during delivery,would there always be signs and symptoms within first few days or weeks of life OR could he appear totally `normal` only for signs or symptoms to appear later on .He is now 8.PLEASE HELP ! I am going spare with all the available info.

Answer:

Birth acquired herpes can produce localized or systemic disease. Infants may develop only a localized skin infection consisting of small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) that rupture, crust over, and finally heal, often leaving a mild scar. A second type of birth acquired herpes infection leads to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can result in seizures and later neurologic problems. If untreated, it may lead to death. The third type of infection, disseminated herpes infection, is the most dangerous. In this type, the herpes virus can affect many different internal organs including the liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. There may or may not be vesicles on the skin. This type of infection is frequently fatal. Herpes acquired in the period shortly after birth behaves similarly to birth acquired herpes.

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati