Pediatric Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Treatment & Management

Updated: Feb 16, 2018
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Specific medical therapy of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections involves antiviral medications. Aggressive inpatient and/or intensive medical care is needed in the management of neonatal herpes simplex virus infections, herpes simplex virus encephalitis, and infections in immunocompromised hosts.

In Mollaret meningitis, therapy is primarily symptomatic because symptoms and signs resolve over days.

Therapy of erythema multiforme (EM) generally addresses the dermatologic manifestations and not the viral infection.

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Consultations

Consultation with physicians experienced in caring for seriously ill patients with infectious diseases is recommended for neonatal herpes simplex virus infections, herpes simplex virus encephalitis or disseminated disease, and herpes simplex virus infection in patients who are immunocompromised. Such physicians may include neonatologists, critical care specialists, and infectious diseases physicians.

A consultation with an ophthalmologist is imperative in the management of herpes simplex virus eye infections.

For a child with genital herpes simplex virus infection that is suspected to be a result of child abuse (see the image below), consultation with social services and/or a physician experienced in managing child and/or sexual abuse is warranted.

Cutaneous herpes simplex virus (HSV) lesions in a Cutaneous herpes simplex virus (HSV) lesions in a child in whom sexual abuse is suspected.
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