Photo courtesy of CDC

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) shedding is highly likely at the time of delivery given vesicles were noted in the vaginal mucosa of the mother. Still, the infant has only a 2% chance of developing neonatal HSV disease.

A male infant is delivered vaginally at 37 weeks’ gestation to a 23-year-old woman. Antenatal serology indicates the mother is seropositive for antibody to herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and type 2. During birth, a crop of vesicles is noted in the vaginal mucosa. The initial physical examination of the infant is unremarkable.

Which of the following statements regarding neonatal HSV is not correct?

Answer: (e) is not correct.

A positive test for HSV in the first 12 hours of life may reflect only transient maternal contamination that may not lead to neonatal disease. Therefore, specimens for culture and PCR should be obtained at approximately 24 hours after...

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