What are physical findings of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in neonates?

Updated: Aug 07, 2018
  • Author: David S Howes, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Findings of HSV infection in neonates (aged 1-45 d) may include the following:

  • Herpetic skin lesions over the presenting surface from birth or with breaks in the skin, such as those resulting from fetal scalp monitors

  • Keratoconjunctivitis

  • Oropharyngeal involvement, particularly buccal mucosa and tongue

  • Encephalitis symptoms, such as seizures, irritability, change in level of attentiveness, bulging fontanelles

  • Additional signs of disseminated, severe HSV include jaundice, hepatomegaly, and shock

As noted above, Toxoplasma infection causing encephalitis is found in immune-suppressed patients. They exhibit significant encephalopathy with lethargy or personality changes, and 75% present may present with focal neuropathology.

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