Common Pregnancy Infections: Herpes, Why it Could Be Missed As a Diagnosis

WE have become so worried regarding exotic infections we've not heard of, it's easy to ignore those infections that are quite common. Herpes is one of the most common infections in the adult population, and therefore in pregnancy as well. Common pregnancy infections are classified in the grouping of infections we name the TORCH or STORCH infections, it is named as this is a the mnemonic physicians use to define a set of infections we have seen in in pregnancy:
Toxoplasmosis Other (syphilis) Rubella Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Herpes simplex virus (HSV) or we move the S to define syphilis at the front and leave other for "Other" like HIV, Listeria, Haverhill fevers (it's from rats, I confess, I don't think I've ever seen a case, do people really ever get bitten by rats? that's not really possible is it??!), and now Zika Virus Infection would go under this rubric as well. Toxosoplasmosis comes from an outdoor cat, and you can be tested for it. But what we really worry about is Herpes simplex infection because they are so common, and it can possibly cause a serious infection in the baby. There is the Type 1 and Type 2, and they have a lot of similar DNA, so that you can have had an infection of say, Type 1 (fever blisters) and thus some immunity to it, and when you get pregnant so that your symptoms are not near as bad as if it was a first exposure without any Type 1 infection at all. Only 5% of adult women think they have had herpes before, but about 1/4 have blood evidence of the infection. And the infections of individuals who know they have the disease my be symptomatic or asymptomatic and it's actually more likely that asymptomatic individuals are spreading the disease as they are the ones most likely to be having sex. It's important to talk to your gyno about symptoms that you might be having that you think are perhaps something else, when in fact they are herpes infections. Then you can get properly diagnosed and properly treated.


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