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Can a pregnant woman pass genital herpes to her baby?

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A pregnant woman can pass genital herpes on to her baby. If you get infected near the end of pregnancy, the risk is highest. At least 30% and as many as 50% of newly infected pregnant women give the virus to their babies. For moms who were infected long before delivery, the risk is much lower. Less than 1% of babies born to mothers with an older genital herpes infection get the virus.

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al. New England Journal of Medicine; October 16, 1997. American Social Health Association. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. CDC. WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer." Warren, T., Warren, R. The Updated Herpes Handbook., 2002, pp. 23-24. WebMD Medical News: "Genital Herpes Treatment Cuts Spread."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 10, 2018

SOURCES:  Fleming, et al. New England Journal of Medicine; October 16, 1997. American Social Health Association. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. CDC. WebMD Medical News: "Herpes Virus Linked to Cervical Cancer." Warren, T., Warren, R. The Updated Herpes Handbook., 2002, pp. 23-24. WebMD Medical News: "Genital Herpes Treatment Cuts Spread."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on November 10, 2018

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What does the virus that causes genital herpes (HSV-2) do in your body?

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