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Neonatal herpes simplex infection is usually the result of infection acquired during birth from a mother with genital Herpes virus infection. Occasionally the baby may acquire Type 2 Herpes simplex infection in the postnatal period.
Infection is uncommon but it has a mortality 60% to 70%, with a high degree of morbidity amongst survivors. It should be considered in any ill neonate, regardless of maternal history.
The infection may be localised to the skin, mouth or eyes though disseminated disease may occur with CNS and visceral involvement.
Onset occurs during the first month of life.