A chip off the old block, a kid inherits a multitude of his or her parents traits, such as eye and hair color. But new evidence suggests that parents may also pass on a common virus to their offspring hereditarily.
Can HSV-1 Be Genetic?
These cold sores, which tend to appear on or around the lips, are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Exactly why they occur more frequently in some people was not known, but now new research suggests some of us may have a genetic predisposition to frequent, severe cold sores.
Are you born with HSV-1?
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes birth-acquired herpes. The highest risk for birth-acquired herpes is during a mothers first, or primary, infection. After someone recovers from herpes, the virus lies dormant in their body for long periods before it flares up and symptoms appear or reappear.
Can you get HSV-1 from your parents?
For example, a parent who has HSV-1 can transmit the virus to their child if they kiss them on the mouth or share straws, eating utensils, or any other objects that have the virus on them.
Does HSV-1 passed from mother to child?
The herpes simplex virus can be transmitted from a mother to her baby before, during or after birth. If you have had a history of herpes infections, make sure to let your doctor know before you give birth.
Is HSV-1 always contagious?
In most cases, the blisters will break, creating a scab that eventually falls off. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). HSV-1 is very contagious. You can spread the virus even when you dont have any symptoms of a cold sore, though youre usually most contagious when you have them.
What if a mother has HSV-1?
HSV-1 infection in newborns -- who can contract the virus from infected mothers during passage through the birth canal -- can be severe, causing brain damage or death. Neonatal HSV infection affects an estimated 1 in 3,200 to 1 in 10,000 live births, Leib said.
Do I have to tell my partner I have HSV-1?
And what you describe isnt unusual: Most adults have been exposed to oral herpes (HSV-1) and many of us do not remember having a cold sore. Oral-to-genital transmission in the absence of an outbreak is rare, so you dont need to share this bit of news with your future partners.
How can I protect my baby from HSV-1?
To reduce the risk of having an outbreak near delivery, we prescribe antiviral medications such as acyclovir (Valtrex) to pregnant women who have a history of herpes, starting around 36 weeks. This reduces shedding of the virus in the genital area around the time of labor.