A much greater concern is herpes simplex virus infection in newborn infants. The virus is most frequently transmitted to an infant from the mother during vaginal delivery or, sometimes, via ascending infection. Transmission is much more likely to occur during a vaginal birth in a mother who is having a first episode of genital herpes. In such cases, the rate of transmission may be 33 to 50 percent. Unfortunately, in most cases, infected neonates are born to women in whom neither the history nor the physical examination suggests active infection.
Herpes simplex infection in newborns can range from a local infection of the skin, eyes, and mouth
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