Question: What if a mother has HSV-1?

HSV-1 infection in newborns -- who can contract the virus from infected mothers during passage through the birth canal -- can be severe, causing brain damage or death. Neonatal HSV infection affects an estimated 1 in 3,200 to 1 in 10,000 live births, Leib said.

Can HSV-1 be passed from mother to child?

The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby before, during or after birth. If you have had a history of herpes infections, make sure to let your doctor know before you give birth.

Can you get HSV from your mother?

A mother who is infected with herpes may transmit the virus to her newborn during vaginal delivery, especially if she has an active infection at the time of delivery. Its possible for the virus to be transmitted even when there are no symptoms or visible sores.

Can you give vaginal birth if you have HSV-1?

Herpes infections are only rarely passed on to babies during childbirth. If a woman already had herpes viruses inside her body at the start of pregnancy, theres no reason why she shouldnt give birth naturally – unless there are signs of an outbreak shortly before she goes into labor.

Do I need to worry about HSV-1?

And its not just the risk of spreading a cold sore that you should be worried about. If you have an HSV-1 infection, you can give your partner genital herpes through oral sex. Having an open sore increases risk of an STD by providing the virus or bacteria a direct route into the body.

What are symptoms of HSV-1 in babies?

Contact your doctor immediately if there are any signs of HSV infection. These include low grade fever (100.4 degrees F., or more, rectally), poor feeding, irritability, and skin rash in the form of pimples or blisters, seizures or other similar symptoms that may develop within six weeks following birth.

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