Herpes Simplex Virus in Mothers and Newborns Essay

Herpes Simplex Virus in Mothers and Newborns Essay

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Herpes simplex virus infection in the neonate is a rare occurrence, but has serious consequences even with treatment of antiviral drugs (Malm, 2009). Herpes virus is transmitted from the mother to child most often through the birthing process as the neonate passes through an infected birth canal, although in utero and postnatal infections occur occasionally (Lawrence & Wald, 2009). According to many grouped studies, fifty percent of infants born vaginally to women experiencing their first infection contracted herpes virus compared to one percent of infants born vaginally to women experiencing a recurrent infection (Baker, 2005). It is important to raise awareness of neonatal herpes simplex virus disease resulting in earlier diagnosis and more rapid administration of antiviral therapy and treatment (Lawrence & Wald, 2009).
Herpes simplex virus is a recurring incurable viral disease. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States (Ignatavicius & Workman, 2010). There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is primarily spread through salivary and respiratory contact, while HSV-2 is by genital contact (Malm, 2009). Herpes virus infection in the neonate is mainly caused by HSV-2, although genital herpes infection by HSV-1 is becoming more prevalent (Malm, 2009). Neonatal HSV is acquired in one of three ways: intrauterine, perinatal, and postpartum (Lawrence & Wald, 2009).
“The five factors known to influence transmission of HSV from mother to neonate are type of maternal infection (primary versus recurrent), maternal antibody status, duration of rupture of membranes, integrity of mucocutaneous barriers (e.g. use of scalp electrodes), and mode of delivery (cesarean versus vagi...


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...2005). New management of the pregnant patient to reduce the risk of transmitting
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Ignatavicius, D. D., & Workman L. M. (2010). Medical-surgical nursing: Patient centered
collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
Kimberlin, W. D. (2005). Herpes simplex virus infections in neonates and early childhood.
Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 16, 271-281.
Kimberlin, W. D. (2007). Herpes simplex virus infections of the newborn. Seminars in
Perinatology, 31, 19-25.
Lawrence, C., & Wald, A. (2009). Maternal and neonatal herpes simplex virus infection. The
New England Journal of Medicine, 14, 1376-1386.
Malm, G. (2009). Neonatal herpes simplex virus infection. Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal
Medicine, 14, 204-208. doi:10.1016/j.siny.2009.01.005

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