How is transmission of herpes simplex virus (HSV) to newborns prevented?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Measures to prevent transmission of HSV to newborns include the following:

  • Reassure women with recurrent disease that risk of neonatal infection is low

  • Perform cesarean delivery if a mother has active lesions during delivery [15]

  • Observe infants delivered vaginally by mothers with active genital herpes. At approximately 24 hours, obtain screening laboratory testing as per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines (see Guidelines Summary) [16]

  • In pregnant women with symptomatic genital herpes, consider antiviral suppressive treatment initiated at the time of diagnosis

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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