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April 1952

GENERALIZED HERPES SIMPLEX IN AN ELEVEN-DAY-OLD PREMATURE INFANT

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK
From the Division of Bacteriology and the Pediatric Service, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, Lincoln Hospital and the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1952;83(4):481-486. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1952.02040080077007
Abstract

HERPES simplex is one of the most widely disseminated viruses, and yet the occurrence of herpetic disease in newborn infants seems to be very rare. Scott1 stated that he had never heard of it, and we have been unable to find any reported cases.1a

The present communication is concerned with a unique "experiment of nature." It is a report of an 11-day-old premature infant, one of triplets, who was observed to have blisters on the lips and subsequently a generalized vesicular eruption and meningoencephalitis. She survived with residual neurological defects and chorioretinitis. A virus was recovered from the vesicular fluid and was identified by its pathogenicity, serology, and morphology, as revealed by the electron microscope, as herpes simplex. The patient had neutralizing antibodies for this agent. The two other triplets were sent to different hospitals shortly after birth and thus serve as controls. One infant had no clinical disease,

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