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But please think positive thoughts and trust your doctor. While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth.My daughter, now 12 months, is healthy and beautiful. On the one hand, such concern is understandable, because herpes can have devastating consequences for a newborn.In about 90% of cases, neonatal herpes is transmitted when an infant comes into contact with HSV- 1 or 2 in the birth canal during delivery.There is a high risk of transmission if the mother has an active outbreak, because the likelihood of viral shedding during an outbreak is high."Neonatal herpes is a remarkably rare event", says Zane Brown, MD, an expert on neonatal herpes and a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington.
Neonatal herpes is not a reportable disease in most states, so there are no hard statistics on the number of cases nationwide."Babies delivered at term should be protected by antibodies -- but premature babies haven't gotten a full load, "explains Brown.