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Infectious Diseases

Herpes transfer to baby by bath28

01/15/2004

Question:

I recently took a quick bath with my 1yr old and the next morning I encountered a herpes outbreak (which I`ve had for years). Five days later we had to take the baby to the ER due to lathargy, vomiting, low grade fever, and blood in his urine. It was determined that he had a bladder infection and also noted that he had a sore on the end of his penis (he is not circumsized) which we were told could happen and was due to the acidic urine pooling there. He was given a shot of Rosefen and a prescription for Amoxicillin. Within hours he was moving around the next day back to his usually self. He did continue to urinate blood for 5 days. Seven days into the antibiotic the baby developed an extensive rash, hives, and swellling. After another trip to the ER we were told he has a sensitive system which reacts dramactically to being sick with a virus (not a penicillin allergic reaction). The rash was basically harmless and would pass and again was due as a reaction to the body having a virus (any kind could produce this result). I informed them that he had a bladder infection which is bacterial and they questioned the diagnosis (different ER). We have no results of a culture.

Could I have given my baby herpes, and would this be a reaction to it?

Answer:

Based on your description of the rash (I have not seen it myself) and the fact it went away without antivirals, I think it unlikely that it was herpes or that you gave herpes to your baby.

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Response by:

Amy Beth Kressel, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati