Herpes Simplex In Children

Jan 03, 2010 No Comments by

Herpes simplex in children is common, although many people do not realize that it is that common.  Herpes simplex is also known as herpes, HSV, HSV 1 and HSV 2 (With these last two being different types of the same virus.)Herpes infections are very common and are one of the most common viral infections during the young childhood days.  Understanding this condition can help you to understand what is happening with your child or what risk for herpes you child has.  What’s more, it can help you to know what is likely affecting your baby so that you can rest easier.

Herpes Facts

The virus is one that causes infections in various parts of the body.  This can happen in the mouth , the brain, the eyes and skin, as well as genitals of the baby or child.  In some rarer forms, it can spread throughout the body.  It is also important for you to realize that your child could be suffering from one of two specific types.  Herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV 1 is the type of virus that commonly causes infections in the eyes, mouth, and any area of skin that is above the waistline.  Herpes simplex virus type 2 or HSV 2 is called genital herpes more often and affects the genital region of the body.

With children herpes it often happens at the time of birth.  This is the case when women have their first herpes outbreak , called primary outbreak, while they are pregnant.  This can cause a variety of serious complications during the pregnancy including serious birth defects.  In some cases, a baby can contract the virus when they are born vaginally, especially if there is an active infection at that time. Genital herpes in pregnancy will be something that you and your doctor talk about from the onset of your pregnancy.  Still, some babies are born with herpes simplex virus but their mothers have shown no signs of the disease prior to this.

Children with herpes can also spread the condition in other settings such as in a day care center.  It is common for HSV infections to happen any place where children, or people of any age, share common living space and items.  For example, it is heavily spread during the college years because of the shared living quarters in many dorms.

The good news is that there are many treatments for herpes simplex in children just as there are with adults.  The key is to get the treatment that is necessary through a doctor’s care whenever herpes symptoms begin to occur.  Herpes simplex medicine can be taken over a long period of time to reduce the number of outbreaks that a child or adult has.  Alternatively, it can be taken just at the beginning of an outbreak to lessen the severity of the outbreak considerably.  In all cases, treatment for herpes should be sought by the parents as well as for the child so that the family can live with fewer complications.

If you suspect that you may have herpes simplex or that your intimate partner may, it is important to talk about this with your doctor.  Herpes prevention is essential.  There are methods that can be used to help minimize the risk of passing herpes on to children.  For example, you should never share eating utensils as well as toothbrushes with individuals that have an active herpes outbreak.  Doing so will allow the virus to move from the toothbrush to your skin.  Genital herpes in pregnancy and herpes simplex in children are important illnesses to talk to your doctor about if you think there is any chance that you may have them.


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