Herpes is an infection caused by exposure to the herpes simplex virus.
If you have genital herpes (a sexually transmitted disease), you can pass the infection to your baby during pregnancy, labour or birth.
Neonatal herpes is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment, if not treated, herpes can cause serious health problems in babies, including deadly infection.
READ ALSO: 10 Medical Reasons a Pregnant Woman May Be Scheduled to Have a C-Section
Herpes Virus In Babies is caused by the two herpes simplex viruses (also called HSVs) named below:
1. HSV-1: This virus usually causes cold sores and fever blisters on the mouth and lips. The virus spreads from the mouth to the skin.
2. HSV-2: This virus causes most cases of genital herpes. It spreads through sex and skin-to-skin contact. HSV-2 is the most common cause of herpes infection in newborns, but HSV-1 also can cause it.
READ ALSO: “Don’t let people kiss your new born baby” – A Mother Warns After Losing Her New Born Baby
How Do Babies Get Herpes?
Babies can get herpes in three ways:
1. Before birth (also called intrauterine herpes): Occurs when an infected mother passes the virus to her baby in the uterus. This kind of herpes is rare.
2. During labor and birth (also called birth-acquired herpes): This usually happens when a baby passes through an infected birth canal or vagina during delivery.
This is the most common way babies get infected with the herpes, a baby can get infected without passing through the vagina, but this is rare. It can happen if the amniotic sac breaks before birth.
3. After birth. You or another person can pass the virus to your baby after birth. For example, if you, or someone else have a herpes sore on your lip and you kiss your baby’s skin, you can actively pass the virus to her.
READ ALSO: ‘I Didn’t Know This Was Possible!’ – Mum Recounts How Newborn Baby Died From Virus Transmitted Through A Kiss
Signs To Look Out For In Your Baby
Tell your baby’s health care provider if your baby has any of these signs or symptoms:
Diagnosis In Babies?
To diagnose neonatal herpes, your pediatrician may use these medical tests:
READ ALSO: 8 Benefits of Having a Cesarean Section
How You Can Keep Your Baby Safe From Herpes?
To help keep your baby safe from herpes:
You may need to have a cesarean birth (also called c-section) to help prevent you from passing the herpes virus to your baby.
Use a breast pump or manual expression to remove milk from the infected breast until the sore heals, and don’t feed your baby pumped or manually expressed breast milk from the infected breast.
Tags: babies, Blisters, Herpes, HVS, Kiss, NeoNatal Herpes
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