Complications The severity of symptoms depends on where and how the virus enters the body. Except in very rare instances and in special circumstances, the disease is not life threatening, although it can be very debilitating and cause emotional distress. Herpes and Pregnancy Pregnant women who have genital herpes due to either herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) or herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) have an increased risk for miscarriage, premature labor, retarded fetal growth, or transmission of the herpes infection to the infant either in the uterus or at the time of delivery. Herpes in newborn babies (neonatals) can be a very serious condition. Fortunately, neonatal herpes is rare. Although about 25 - 30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies are born with neonatal herpes. The baby is at greatest risk during a vaginal delivery, especially if the mother has an asymptomatic infection that was first introduced late in the pregnancy. In such cases, 30 - 50% of newborns bec...
Serum herpes simplex antibodies is a blood test that looks for antibodies to the herpes simplex virus.
See also: Herpes viral culture of lesion
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube ca...
He came in concerned about an itchy, burning rash on his penis. Silently, I could tell he thought it may be herpes . And I thought so too. When I told him that I too suspected herpes and that we needed to test him for the condition, he silently agreed. I told him about the test and about how we’d address the herpes if that is what he had. I knew he had questions, but I could also tell that he was so overwhelmed with the prospect of having the condition that he shut down. He was completely unable to regain his bearings and ask me all of the questions I knew were racing in his head. He left quickly despite my best efforts to engage him in conversation or offer support or information. I can’t imagine what my patient must have gone through that first day and night after our appointment. He must have been terrified, angry, depressed, or even felt ashamed. My heart aches for him. And by tomorrow, he’ll have a million questions. If you’re concerned that you may have herpes and haven’t see...
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