January 1980

Herpes Simplex Infection After Needle Aspiration of a Lymph Node

Author Affiliations

Infectious Disease Division Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Georgia Augusta, GA 30912

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(1):88-89. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130130070022

Primary infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) occurs often in childhood. The most common manifestation is gingivostomatitis, while keratoconjunctivitis and skin disease are uncommon.1-3 Few reports of culturally confirmed, localized, posttraumatic herpes simplex infection during childhood, apparently unrelated to autoinoculation, exist in the literature.3-5 We report a traumatic HSV skin infection occurring three days after needle aspiration of a presumed bacterial cervical adenitis.

Report of a Case.—An 18-month-old, previously healthy boy developed diffuse swelling of the right side of the neck one day before admission. The past medical history included a unilateral otitis media two months prior to admission. He had no history of herpetic infection nor did any members of his immediate family. Physical examination revealed a listless, febrile (39.2 °C) toddler with a firm, tender mass obscuring the angle of the mandible and extending over the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The overlying skin was hot and erythematous.