HSV; Congenital herpes; Herpes - congenital
It is important for women to tell their doctor if they have a history of genital herpes.
Safer sexual practices can help prevent the mother from getting genital herpes. Mothers who are not infected with herpes cannot pass the herpes virus to the baby during delivery.
People with "cold sores" (herpes labialis) should avoid contact with newborn infants. Caregivers who have a cold sore should wear a surgical mask and wash their hands carefully before coming into contact with the infant to prevent transmitting the virus.
Mothers should speak to their health care providers about the best way to minimize the risk of transmitting herpes to their infant.
Red Book: 2009 Report on The Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics.
Cernik C, Gallina K, Brodell RT. The treatment of herpes simplex infections: An evidence-based review. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1137-1144.
Hollier LM, Wendel GD. Third trimester antiviral prophylaxis for preventing maternal genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) recurrences and neonatal infection. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;23(1):CD004946.
Review Date: 09/16/2010
Reviewed By: Sameer Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.