Genital herpes in children

How does genital herpes spread among kids? Exists a treatment for it? And how might it be stopped? More information in the following article.

Genital herpes in children

Congenital herpes or genital herpes in children are other names for the condition, but how does a child get it? What are its signs and symptoms? Exists a treatment for it? Read on to find everything that interests you in this article:

How does genital herpes occur in children?

It happens as follows:

1. During pregnancy and childbirth 

A mother with genital herpes may transmit the infection during a vaginal delivery because the child may come into contact with herpes blisters in the birth canal, resulting in infection. Genital herpes most commonly affects children through infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) during childbirth.

Additionally, mothers who had an inactive herpes infection at birth could still transmit the disease to their unborn children during the last six weeks of pregnancy, particularly if they had herpes for the first time at that time.

2. During lactation

The baby may be at higher risk of contracting herpes if the mother has genital herpes-related breast blisters and is breastfeeding or expressing milk from the infected breast.

3. Contact with cold sores around the mouth

Cold sores that appear on the lips and around the mouth can cause genital herpes in children, as a person with a cold sore can pass the virus to a child through kissing.

This illness is not inherited at birth and is frequently not as severe.

What are the symptoms of genital herpes in children?

Congenital genital herpes symptoms may be present at birth and typically appear in the first few weeks of a child's life. A skin infection and a cluster of fluid-filled blisters on his trunk or around his eyes are telltale signs of them. The blisters may burst and crust before healing, in which case they may be contagious. .

The blisters caused by genital herpes are called vesicles, and they are the same blisters that appear on the genital areas of adults with herpes. Infants who have genital herpes may also have feeding issues.

How is genital herpes diagnosed in children?

To determine whether the child has genital herpes or not, the doctor collects samples of any blisters the child may have and spinal fluid.

To check for brain swelling, the doctor may also perform blood and urine tests as well as diagnostic procedures like an MRI of the child's head.

Can genital herpes be treated in children?

Yes, genital herpes in children can generally be treated, and the symptoms can be managed, but the virus will still be present in the child's body for the rest of his life.

Antiviral medications administered intravenously, such as aciclovir, which is a popular medication for treating genital herpes in children, are among the most widely used treatments.

Other medications to control seizures and other symptoms may be used during the course of several weeks of treatment.

When should a child with genital herpes receive immediate care?

When a child exhibits any of these symptoms, immediate medical attention must be sought:

  • irritable
  • fever .
  • Rash and sores on the eyes and inside the mouth.
  • lethargy.
  • Difficulty getting up from sleep.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • snoring
  • Blue discoloration of the skin and tongue. 

What are the complications associated with genital herpes in children?

Children with herpes have a skin infection or a systemic herpes infection, which spreads herpes throughout the body and can cause serious complications like:

  • Eye infection.
  • blindness.
  • seizures.
  • Respiratory diseases .

The disease may affect a child's vital organs, including:

  • Lungs, which leads to difficulty breathing and apnea.
  • liver, which causes jaundice.
  • Central nervous system leading to shock, hypothermia.
  • Encephalitis, which leads to brain damage. 

How can genital herpes be prevented in children?

By taking the necessary precautions, such as the following, genital herpes can be avoided in children:

  • Practicing safe sex, such as using condoms , reduces active herpes outbreaks and prevents transmission of the virus.
  • Consult a doctor to go over risks and suitable treatments, especially if a parent has herpes.
  • Maintaining a medication regimen at the end of pregnancy can help to lessen the risk of herpes infection for the child and stop the spread of vaginal sores during labour.
  • Resorting to a cesarean section if the mother suffers from active genital lesions and thus reduces the risk of herpes transmission to the child.

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