The disease is mistaken by some parents for a skin rash. Herpes infection in children is a common phenomenon, the herpes virus can enter the child’s body even in the womb, during childbirth or immediately after birth, the pathology requires mandatory treatment when the first symptoms appear. Herpes affects not only the skin, but also other tissues of the body, internal organs. According to statistics, HSV has 80% of the total population of the planet.
What is a herpetic infection
Herpes in a child is a whole group of diseases that are transmitted from one person to another. A simple form of the virus affects the skin, the central nervous system, the mucous membranes of the body, internal organs, eyes. There are several types of pathogens, the most common is the first type, which is also called simple. It causes the following pathologies: lip malaria, herpetic stomatitis.
Herpes infection in children develops when pathological microorganisms penetrate human blood. In the cells infected with the causative agent, intranuclear inclusions are formed, which trigger the formation of giant multinucleated cells. The infection is thermolabile, it is inactivated when it reaches 50-52 degrees Celsius, the cells quickly deteriorate under ultraviolet irradiation or X-rays. Organic solvents, ether, ethyl alcohol, herpes are not susceptible to the effects of low temperatures and drying.
There are two serotypes of the pathogen in nucleic and antigenic composition:
- 1st provoked the development of lesions of the mucous membranes of the mouth, skin, face, central nervous system, eyes.
- 2nd affects the lining of the genitals. There is a chance of infection with both serotypes.
Herpes virus infection in children is caused by different types of pathogens. This affects the course of pathology, symptoms and prognosis. There are the following types of pathology:
- The first type of virus. This is the most common type of pathogen, provokes the appearance of symptoms on the lips, the development of herpetic stomatitis, panaritium (on the fingers), viral encephalitis, sycosis, herpetic eczema, esophagitis, keratoconjunctivitis, herpetic sore throat.
- The second type of virus. Often becomes the cause of the genital type of the disease. It is diagnosed in children, as a rule, in the form of neonatal herpes or disseminated infection. The first two types are also called herpes simplex.
- The third type of pathogen becomes the cause of chickenpox known to all parents. When relapse can cause shingles. More often diagnosed in adults, but also in children can also manifest.
- The fourth type of infection is called Epstein-Barr virus. It becomes the cause of a little-known pathology - infectious mononucleosis. It is often mistaken for a cold and they do not make a correct diagnosis; this type of pathogen sometimes causes some oncological diseases.
- Cytomegalovirus go 5th type of herpes. According to the statements of individual specialists, every person in the world is infected with this infection, but not everyone knows about it, because the virus is in persistent form and does not manifest itself.
- Rozeolovirus or type 6. It provokes a sudden rash, it’s a baby roseola.
- The 7th type is identical to the previous version, in adults it causes chronic fatigue.
- The latter type is poorly studied, there is a theory that it provokes the development of Kaposi's sarcoma.
Ways of infection
The disease has a high degree of infectiousness. Herpes in the blood of a child can be detected by infection through airborne droplets or contact infections. When there are bubbles (papules) on the skin, the disease has the highest degree of infectiousness. The fluid inside these papules contains a large amount of virus particles. Herpes gets to the child, as a rule, when the baby communicates with the carrier or through household items. The disease does not appear immediately and for a long time is asymptomatic in the body, generalization occurs when the immune system is weakened.
Symptoms of herpes in children
Pathology has an incubation period - the time interval between the penetration of pathological microorganisms into the body and the appearance of the first signs of the disease. The herpes virus in a child is acute, and babies have obvious symptoms of intoxication, even with a localized form. These symptoms include:
- poor appetite
- body temperature rise
- muscle pain, anxiety, headache,
- lethargy, weakness and other signs of pronounced decrease in motor activity,
- burning, itchy skin,
- the appearance of a herpetic rash.
The most common type of virus is transmitted by airborne droplets and when in contact with the carrier. The herpes virus in children is manifested by the following symptoms:
- herpes rash on mucous membranes and skin: fingers of hands, lips, nose, mouth,
- capriciousness and weakness
- swollen lymph nodes
- general malaise.
Almost all children suffer from chicken pox and suffer it much more easily than adults. Can recur in older age in the form of shingles. Pathology has the following features:
- intoxication of the body,
- vesicles (vesicles) throughout the body,
- temperature rise.
In most cases, transmitted during childbirth to the child from the mother. Infection occurs inside the womb or during passage through the birth canal. Viral herpes in children is also called neonatal. The clinical picture of the disease depends on the form of infection:
- Localized is manifested by damage to the lips, skin of the mouth, eyes and mucous membranes.
- Generalized infection has a full range of symptoms: cyanosis, lethargy, apnea, shortness of breath, regurgitation, fever.
- The damaging form has an effect on the nervous system, can provoke meningoencephalitis, hydrocephalus, microcephaly. Characteristic features: cramps, tremors, cytosis, loss of appetite.
This type of herpes provokes infectious mononucleosis, attacks the lymphoid system. There is a theory that he becomes the cause of a number of oncological diseases. Diagnosis is possible only with blood tests. The danger of the disease is that the newborn is sometimes asymptomatic. The main features of this type of herpes pathology include:
- sore throat,
- swollen lymph nodes, adenoids,
- temperature rise,
- enlarged spleen, liver.
After penetration of the infection, the child becomes a virus carrier, the disease will be in a latent state with no obvious signs. When immune protection is weakened, herpes virus infection will activate and the following symptoms will appear:
- headache, muscle aches,
- signs of intoxication,
- lesions of the central nervous system and internal organs (lungs, liver, glands) may be present.
This pathology has received the second name - pseudo-cinnamon. This type of herpes infection provokes the following symptoms:
- rashes of small pink papules all over the body,
- temperature rise,
- symptoms similar to allergies.
Diagnosis of herpes infection
An experienced doctor will determine the presence of herpes by visual signs, but a laboratory test may be needed to make a diagnosis. Based on the diagnosis of this pathology of clinical signs. The doctor differentiates the characteristic vesicular rash on the background of intoxication of the body, an increase in regional lymph nodes. To determine exactly the type of herpes, you can use a blood test.
This is a typical and clear sign of herpes in the blood of a baby. Herpes rash in children appears on the mucous cavities, the skin in the form of vesicles with a clear liquid inside. This characteristic symptom develops gradually, after 3 days the contents of the vesicles become cloudy, the papules burst, a sore or open sore is formed. After a while they dry up, become covered with a crust, which disappears in a few days and the rash goes away without a trace. The affected areas tend to hurt, itch and have a burning sensation.
The temperature of herpes in children
This symptom is not specific for herpes pathology, which may complicate the diagnostic process. An increase in temperature, intoxication often precedes rashes, especially this often occurs in children, therefore, these signs can be mistaken for the symptoms of acute respiratory infections. The intensity of temperature rise depends on the location of the lesion, the values can be both normal and rise to 40 degrees.
The highest numbers are observed with the defeat of the mucous membranes of the child. First preceded by an increase in temperature chills, overexcitement, tearfulness. Then begins a sharp jump to 39-40 degrees. Only then does a characteristic rash and itching appear on the body. Minor temperature fluctuations may occur throughout the day.
Herpes virus in the blood
For the final diagnosis and clarify the type of herpes infection, apply laboratory tests. Your doctor prescribes tests for the following methods:
- complement fixation reaction
- enzyme immunoassay in paired sera,
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR),
- indirect immunofluorescence.
The presence of a herpetic infection will confirm an increase in IgM titer over 4 times. A recurrent type of pathology will confirm a fourfold increase in IgG titer. Detection and identification of infectious agents can be carried out using virological examination of fluid from vesicles, scrapings of erosion, nasopharyngeal flushing, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, blood, ejaculate, or brain biopsies (with a fatal outcome).
Treatment of herpes in children
Pathology therapy should be prescribed by the attending physician on the basis of the examination and tests performed. The prognosis of treatment depends on the form of the disease, there are the following options:
- Congenital herpes has an unfavorable prognosis. Severe malformations lead to the death of a child in a few months. There are frequent cases of intrauterine fetal death, spontaneous abortions.
- When a newborn is infected while passing through the birth canal, the prognosis is positive, subject to timely antiviral treatment.
- The acquired nature of the disease very rarely causes dangerous complications. Acyclovir therapy provides long-term remission of pathology.
Any suspicion of the development of herpetic pathology in a child should be a reason to go to the hospital. Self-medication can lead to serious complications and even death. The treatment scheme prescribed by the doctor implies the exact implementation of all recommendations from the beginning to the end. There is no alternative to antiviral drugs, so they need to be taken.
How to treat herpes in children
Therapy is carried out by a complex method, antiviral drugs are used, immunomodulatory drugs and restorative procedures. With a strong discomfort due to rash babies give Paracetamol. Medicines help to speed up the healing process of ulcers, the development of relapses and complications of infection. Antiviral therapy is urgently needed for a generalized course of the disease, a weakened immune system, in the case of genital herpes, and severe brain damage.
Selection of the dosage of a particular drug occurs in accordance with the body weight, age of the child and his condition. The following areas are used for treatment:
- lotions with proteolytic enzymes to remove dead tissue,
- treatment of lesions with antiseptic, analgesic agents,
- means for strengthening immunity based on interferon,
- Acyclovir therapy,
- desensitizing therapy,
- antiherpetic vaccine to generate antibodies to avoid reactivation of the infection and the transition to chronic herpetic pathology,
- diet therapy.
How to treat herpes
The basis of therapy is antiviral treatment and strengthening the immunity of the child. Prescribe a course of medication for children even up to 1 year to prevent the development of complications, and sometimes death. Use the following groups of drugs:
- Immunomodulatory agents. The infection can be overcome only with good immunity. Immunoflazid, Immunal is prescribed.
- Interferon group to fight infection.
- Antipyretic drugs. Essential for symptomatic treatment and increased child comfort.
- Antihistamines. Necessary for the treatment of rash, use Fenkarol, tavegil, Diazolin.
Causes and risk factors
The causative agents of herpes simplex in children are viruses of the herpevirus family (Herpetoviridae). The medical literature describes about 100 types of herpes virus, but only 8 of them are pathogenic for humans:
- The most common type of virus. It causes the appearance of bubble eruptions on the mucous membrane of the mouth, near the mouth and wings of the nose.
- It is somewhat less common than the herpes virus type 1. It affects the mucous membranes of the genitals. In some cases, it causes the development of herpetic stomatitis and herpetic sore throat.
- Another name for this type is Varicella Zoster. At primary infection in a child, chickenpox develops. In adolescents and adults who have previously had chickenpox, this type of virus causes shingles.
- Another name - Epstein - Barr virus. It can cause infectious mononucleosis (Filatov disease). In addition, infection with this type of herpevirus leads to a significant weakening of the immune system, as a result of which the child becomes susceptible to infectious diseases, as well as exacerbations of chronic somatic pathologies. In addition, there is evidence of the oncogenic activity of the Epstein-Barr virus, in particular, it is associated with the development of certain types of lymphomas.
- Another name is cytomegalovirus. This type of herpes viruses causes a cytomegalovirus infection, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause serious abnormalities in the development of the fetus.
- In children, this type of herpes causes a sudden exanthema (pseudorasna, roseola), the main symptom of which is the appearance of small pink-colored papules on the skin. The rash may be preceded by fever, but without any respiratory symptoms.
Herpes simplex viruses 7 and 8 have been discovered relatively recently and have not been well studied. Virologists suggest that they may provoke the development of depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and possibly some malignant neoplasms.
The term “herpetic infection” is traditionally applied to infectious processes caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV, herpes simplex virus, the herpes simplex virus).
Herpetic infection is a typical anthroponosis, that is, an infectious disease, the causative agent of which in vivo parasitizes exclusively in the human body.
The source of infection is a sick (infected) person. Most often, herpes in children is transmitted by airborne droplets. Less commonly observed contact and transplacental transmission of infection.
The susceptibility to herpes in children is very high.According to statistics published by WHO, in European countries and the United States over 80% of children over the age of 5 years are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2.
Forms of the disease
Depending on the activity of the pathological process and the degree of its spread, there are several forms of herpes in children:
- herpes infection of the newborn.
The prognosis for local forms of herpes in children is favorable. It significantly decreases with the generalization of the infectious process, as well as with herpes infection of the newborn.
Herpes infection of newborns
As a special variant of the course of the infectious process, the herpetic infection of the newborn is singled out in a separate form. Infection of newborns with herpes occurs at the time of their passage through the infected birth canal of the mother (80%) and transplacentally (20%). The risk of developing clinically manifest forms increases with a prolonged anhydrous period and the use of tools for delivery that violate the integrity of the skin. About 70% of all registered neonatal herpes infections come from mothers with a latent form of herpes. The child is most at risk of infection during the initial infection of the mother during pregnancy (one month before the birth).
The manifestation of herpes infection of the newborn occurs during the first month of life, usually in the first two weeks, in one of the following clinical forms:
- Severe disseminated infection. The skin, mucous membranes of the oral cavity and eyes, the central nervous system, lungs and liver are involved in the pathological process. Thrombohemorrhagic syndrome joins. Mortality of this form is 50–80%.
- Common skin and mucous changes (keratitis, stomatitis, dermatitis). The prognosis for this form of herpes in children of the first month of life is determined by the severity of bacterial superinfection. Mortality can reach 30%.
- The defeat of the central nervous system. Manifested by symptoms of viral encephalitis. Mortality reaches 80%.
Intrauterine infection of the fetus with the herpes virus can lead to the formation of congenital malformations associated with the development of residual effects of a previous herpetic infection (hydrocephalus, microcephaly, parencephaly).
Herpes in children - a brief description of the species
According to research, the peak incidence of herpes viruses occurs at the age of 2-3 years. In the first months of a baby’s life, antibodies obtained from the mother protect the baby, but already a one-year-old child can have herpes in one way or another. The correct treatment strategy for herpes infections in children depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis, so the determination of the pathogen should be entrusted to a specialist. But parents also need to know what to look for if the child is sick.
By age 15, 90% of children are infected with herpes simplex virus
Herpes simplex virus type 1
This is one of the first infections that babies face at the beginning of life. Often it is diagnosed even in children under one year. The reason is constant close contact with the media, which is the majority of adults (including parents). Ways of infection:
- contact, contact and household,
- vertical (from mother to child - in utero or during labor).
The incubation period lasts from 1 day to 3 weeks, then visible symptoms appear.
Herpes type 1 often affects the face and upper body. The disease can manifest itself even in very young children. The main symptom of herpes simplex is vesicles on the lips, mouth and skin. Sometimes it can spread to the throat, mucous eye and nose. The affected areas are disturbed by severe itching and pain. In some cases, the disease is accompanied by fever, lethargy, an increase in lymph nodes in the neck.
The virus poses a certain threat - herpes simplex in a child can cause:
- gingivitis, stomatitis,
- herpetic sore throat
- generalized herpes of the skin,
- neurological diseases
- herpes panacea (a form of skin lesions).
The frequency of recurrence of herpes and the severity of their course depends on the state of the immune system.
Photo # 1 - herpetic stomatitis, photo # 2 - cold on lips
Herpes simplex virus type 2
In children, such a herpes infection is less common, since it is transmitted mainly through sexual contact. Primary herpes infection can occur during childbirth, while passing through the birth canal of the mother. It is impossible to completely exclude the possibility of contact infection in the care of the baby.
Herpes type 2 affects the mucous membranes of the genitals and adjacent areas of the skin. Characteristic rashes can extend to the urethra and rectum. The virus is very dangerous for the child:
- leads to a decrease in overall immunity,
- causes diseases of the reproductive and urinary systems (cystitis, pyelonephritis, endocervicitis),
- may cause infertility in the future
- increases the chance of getting HIV.
Therefore, if a disease is diagnosed in a family member, hygiene should be given increased attention.
Herpes 1 and 2 types are combined into one group, and classified as HSV - herpes simplex viruses.
Genital herpes in children and during pregnancy
Herpes type 3 (Varicella-Zoster)
Chickenpox is one of the most recognizable infections in children. The disease is caused by primary contact with the virus. Infection most often occurs when visiting a kindergarten. The pathogen is easily transmitted from one child to another by contact, household and airborne droplets. The baby becomes infectious 2 days before the appearance of bubbles on the skin, and remains a source of infection for about a week after that.
The incubation period can last from 1 to 3 weeks, then the symptoms appear:
- body temperature rises (up to 39-40 degrees),
- on the skin and mucous membranes appear itchy bubbles filled with liquid,
- they burst for a short time; small crusts form in their place, which then dry out and fall off.
The duration of the acute phase of the disease is 7-10 days. The temperature of such a herpes may decrease after 2-3 days, and may disturb throughout the illness. After the end of the acute period, a strong immunity to the pathogen is formed, but if it is reduced, a relapse of the infection is possible - it is called “shingles”. In this case, the rash occupies a limited area (associated with the nerve ganglia, where the virus remains in a sleeping state).
In a weakened child, the Varicella-Zoster virus can cause serious illnesses — pneumonia, encephalitis, and other damage to the internal organs; therefore, chickenpox should not be taken lightly.
Photo number 1 - chickenpox, photo number 2 - shingles
Type 4 - Epstein-Barr virus
It is transmitted in the same way as other herpes viruses - by contact, household and airborne droplets, it is very contagious. The incubation period can last up to 1.5 months. Infection with this virus often goes unnoticed, but in some cases causes a specific disease - infectious mononucleosis.
Externally, the symptoms of mononucleosis in children may resemble a cold - the temperature rises, the throat is sore, a nose can be stuffed up. The hallmark is a significant increase in lymph nodes, especially cervical. Unlike a cold, the disease can last 1-2 months. The virus infects the internal organs - the liver and spleen, they also increase in size. In rare cases, spleen rupture is possible.
With a severe course of the disease may develop necrotic tonsillitis, damage to internal organs, meningitis and other complications. Antibodies to this herpes virus in the blood of a child can accurately determine the nature of the disease, it is almost impossible to do this on the basis of a clinical examination.
Infectious mononucleosis - the school of Dr. Komarovsky
Type 5 - cytomegalovirus
The pathogen is contained in all body fluids. The child may be infected:
- in utero
- in the process of labor,
- through breast milk,
- by airborne droplets.
Most often, the infection occurs at preschool age. In some cases, cytomegalovirus can cause damage to internal organs, retinitis, hepatitis, pneumonia, neurological disorders and other severe abnormalities. A generalized form of infection occurs against the background of a concomitant severe disease that lowers the immune system (for example, malignant tumors).
Primary infection in many children passes without visible symptoms. In rare cases, the disease looks like ARVI - accompanied by fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat. At the same time, lethargy, drowsiness, an increase in lymph nodes are observed, there may be complaints of muscle pain. Accurately diagnose CMV is possible only with the help of laboratory tests. If the signs of the disease persist 2-3 months after the diagnosis of cytomegalovirus, the child needs serious antiviral therapy.
Herpes type 6 and 7
They are also called roseoloviruses - during the initial infection, pathogens cause special rashes on the skin, roseola or exanthema. This is a specific "child" herpes, they are usually infected before they reach the age of two. According to research data, by 3–4 years, almost all babies have antibodies to these viruses. Often the infection does not appear outwardly. In rare cases, the following symptoms occur:
- a sharp increase in temperature (lasts 3-5 days),
- a red rash appears on the body. Not accompanied by itching and pain, does not bother the child,
- in some cases (not always) - fever, lethargy, weakness, poor appetite and tearfulness,
- the virus remains in the body in a latent state. In adults, CFS, a syndrome of chronic fatigue, is associated with these types of herpes.
Causes of recurrence of herpes in childhood
As a rule, after the initial infection, herpes viruses remain in the child's body in a latent, hidden state and do not cause anxiety. However, certain conditions can provoke an exacerbation of the infection, which is fraught with serious complications. Recurrence of any virus from the herpes group can result in:
- Infectious diseases with a severe course. They negatively affect the overall level of immunity and contribute to the activation of the virus.
- Strong stresses, nervous overloads and shocks (for example, associated with the start of kindergarten or school).
- Constant fatigue.
- Treatment with certain drugs, for example, glucocorticoids.
- Diseases of the endocrine system.
- Improper, malnutrition for a long time.
- Seasonal colds, acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory viral infections (sore throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis and others), especially accompanied by high fever.
- Radiation and chemical therapy of oncological diseases.
- Age-related hormonal changes (for example, in adolescents), leading to a decrease in the body's defenses.
- Significant physical activity.
All of these factors contribute to a decrease in immunity, and it ceases to suppress the reproduction of viruses. In this case, the infection spreads through the body and can cause severe damage to various organs and systems. Frequent recurrences of herpes require mandatory correction of immunity.
Special herpes medicine for children does not exist. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe:
- Antipyretics if the temperature rises above 38-39 degrees.
- If the disease is accompanied by a rash (chickenpox) - treatment with antiseptics will be needed to prevent the development of a bacterial infection. When herpes sore throat antiseptic solutions used for gargling.
- Herpes ointments ("Acyclovir", "Zovirax") can be prescribed to treat rashes with type 1 and 2 viruses.
- With severe intoxication, if there is a risk of damage to internal organs, hepatoprotectors are prescribed (Essentiale, Karsil).
- When the child’s body fails to cope with the infection, and the risk of serious complications is high, the doctor may decide on the appointment of antiviral drugs (these may be herpes medicine pills - Ganciclovir, Acyclovir, Cytovene, or injections). In each case, the drug and the scheme of application are selected individually. This is an extreme measure, since this group of drugs is highly toxic. It is impossible to treat herpes in a child with such drugs without a doctor's prescription.
- Combination therapy usually involves taking multivitamins. It helps to strengthen the child’s own immunity.
- To speed recovery, drugs from the interferon group may be prescribed (for example, Viferon plugs).
Acyclovir and Zovirax
For any herpes infection in children, treatment should be prescribed by a doctor. The selection of drugs is carried out taking into account the state of the body, test results and features of the disease. Before receiving appointments, the patient should be given rest, bed rest, and abundant drinking.
Particular caution should be exercised in relation to folk remedies for herpes. The use of any herbal tea or lotions must be coordinated with your doctor, and in no case should they replace the prescribed treatment. Contrary to the assurances of traditional healers, it is impossible to completely cure herpes - only to achieve a stable remission.
Herpes - the school of Dr. Komarovsky
What is dangerous herpes for children
A feature of herpes viruses can be considered the fact that infection with them is almost inevitable - after all, carriers are the majority of the world's population. In itself, infection is not a catastrophe, besides, medical practice shows that in childhood the first contact with the virus is more easily tolerated. However, this is true for children with a properly functioning immune system, ready to fight against unknown pathogens and form a protective barrier to them. For a weakened child of any age, infection can pose a serious threat.
During the first years of life, the children's organism continues to form, all organs and systems gradually develop, master new functions, and become more complex. An infectious disease with a severe course can adversely affect these processes, leading to deviations in the structure and functioning of the child’s organs.
If the body is weak and can not fully resist the infection, damage to the brain, nervous system, liver, heart can have the most serious consequences, including disability or death. Therefore, it is important to correctly diagnose the nature of childhood diseases and carefully monitor the condition of the baby in order to provide the necessary assistance in time.
If a child has been diagnosed with one of the herpetic infections, this is a reason to pay greater attention to it. It is important to create optimal conditions for him to recover, to ensure peace and appropriate diet. In most cases, the initial infection is tolerated fairly easily. If the condition worsens - it is important not to postpone the visit to the doctor. Timely treatment can stop the disease and prevent the development of serious complications.
Herpes in children - causes of infection
Infection of the child in most cases occurs in the children's team or in contact with adult carriers of the virus.The baby can easily become infected from the mother if she has a relapse of the disease and an exacerbation of herpes infection occurs.
This is especially true for infants, since during this period it is impossible to stop contacting the baby with the mother and take such precautions that would guarantee the absence of infection. In addition, the source of infection, without knowing it, can be any person whose virus is in a latent (inactive) form and its visible manifestations are absent.
Virus transmission occurs as follows:
- Airborne droplets. When a person who has herpes or is a carrier of herpes coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads through the air and through the mucous membranes easily enters the body of the baby.
- Household. This type of transmission is most common in families where personal hygiene is violated. That is, family members use common dishes, cutlery, towels, bed linen.
- Perinatal. From the mother infected with the virus, the infection is transmitted to the baby during childbirth.
- With medical manipulations (during blood transfusions).
According to statistics, out of 100 newborns whose mothers first became infected with the herpes virus during pregnancy, up to 50% of babies are born with a congenital herpesvirus infection. This may have the worst consequences for the child. If, during pregnancy, a woman has a relapse of the disease, then the child is almost not affected, since the mother’s body already has a formed immunity to the virus.
Concomitant factors that provoke the occurrence or exacerbation of herpetic manifestations are:
- Weakening of immunity
- Poor nutrition, lack of essential nutrients and vitamins for the child
- Stress factor
- The influence of the environment (infection often occurs in the autumn - winter period)
The herpes virus has many varieties, the most common are the types that cause "cold" on the lips and chicken pox. In fact, the types of herpes viruses are much more and each of them has its own characteristics. A child can become infected with any type of pathogen, so parents need to know the main symptoms of the disease and how to fight infection.
Types of Herpes
To date, scientists have known more than 200 varieties of herpes viruses, of which 6 types are the most common and well studied:
- Herpes simplex virus (type 1) known to many, it is he who causes the appearance of herpes lesions on the lips. The formation of characteristic vesicles is accompanied by general malaise: fever, fever, weakness, disorders of the digestive system. Herpes type 1 in children is most common.
- Type 2 virus herpes simplex is called genital because the characteristic manifestations of the infection are localized in the genital area. The baby may get an infection from the mother during childbirth. The course of the disease is often complicated by herpetic sore throat and mucosal lesions in the mouth (stomatitis).
- Type 3 virus or the so-called Varicella zoster, causes chicken pox; in childhood, the majority of the population suffers this infection. It is believed that chickenpox can get sick only once in a lifetime, after which the body produces a lifelong immunity to the virus. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In some cases, the disease returns, but proceeds differently and causes shingles symptoms. Anyone can get sick, even someone who had chickenpox in childhood.
- Type 4 herpes It is called Epstein-Barr virus and is responsible for the development of infectious mononucleosis.
- Herpes virus type 5 causes cytomegalovirus infection, infection of which in most cases proceeds without pronounced symptoms.
- Type 6 virus causes a sudden rash in children, the symptoms of which are similar to the rubella manifestations.
All types of herpes virus infections in children pose a serious danger and need timely treatment, as they can provoke serious complications.
Danger of herpes in young children
Breast and newborn children usually have immunity to the virus, which is obtained from the mother, but from the age of 1-2 years this protection weakens. Herpes in a child 3 years life results from the fact that the child’s own immune system is still weak and cannot resist infection. In some cases, the consequence of infection can be serious complications affecting the internal organs and body systems. The following conditions are among the complications caused by the herpes virus:
- Herpetic lesions of the eye (keratitis, iridocyclitis, uveitis, corneal erosion)
- Ear injuries, often ending in deafness
- Herpangina, stomatitis, gingivitis
- Damage to the cardiovascular system (myocarditis)
- Damage to the nervous system (neuritis, paralysis of the limbs) and brain (encephalitis, meningitis)
- Damages of internal organs (liver, kidneys, spleen)
All of the above complications are very serious, it is difficult to cope with them, even an adult. In a child with a weak immune system, they can be life threatening and, in severe cases, end in disability.
Herpes of the first type begins with tingling, burning, itching and redness in the place where the rash appears. Primary stage is accompanied by general malaise: fever, fever, headache, an increase in lymph nodes. These manifestations resemble cold symptoms, but soon parents notice other signs of infection. Herpes on the lip in a child is manifested by the appearance of small, itchy blisters filled with transparent contents.
After some time, they open up and secrete a liquid containing the virus in high concentration. At this time, you need to make sure that the child does not touch the formed erosion with his hands, this can lead to further spread of infection. After a few days, the moist ulcers begin to dry out and become covered with a crust, which soon disappears.
At primary infection, the development of herpetic stomatitis is possible, when painful blisters form on the tonsils and palate. Herpes in the child's mouth leads to the fact that the baby becomes moody, does not sleep well. Painful erosion, formed on the site of bursting bubbles, cause a rejection of food and lack of appetite. With a weakened immune system, primary infection with a virus can lead to the development of complications associated with damage to internal organs.
Herpes in children 3 - 6 types
Herpes virus type 3 causes chickenpox, accompanied by characteristic rashes all over the body, high fever, chills, weakness. After the treatment of chickenpox, the virus remains in the body and reminds of the recurrence of herpes zoster about itself, when bubble eruptions appear on the back, along the nerve fibers, when immunity is weakened. Herpes zoster is accompanied by intense itching, fever and severe pain.
4-type virus causes infectious mononucleosis, manifested by angina, swollen lymph nodes, fever. Herpes in the throat of a child accompanied by painful rash in the oral cavity, temperature, an increase in lymph nodes (mainly cervical), liver and spleen. Infectious mononucleosis can occur with complications affecting almost all internal organs and systems of the body (nervous, pulmonary, cardiovascular).
Type 5 herpes is a cytomegalovirus infection. The virus is introduced into the body and waits in the wings, manifesting itself with a decrease in immunity of a normal respiratory infection (ARVI). A virus of this type is dangerous when a pregnant woman is infected, and as a result, an intrauterine infection develops. In this case, the child dies, or is born with severe lesions of the central nervous system.
Herpes type 6 in children becomes the cause of exanthema, manifestations of which resemble rubella. The disease begins acutely, with a sharp rise in temperature and the appearance on the body of a pale pink rash, thick to the touch and slightly elevated above the skin surface. At the same time, there is a lesion of the mucous membranes of the oral cavity. Herpes in the child's mouth manifests a painful rash on the soft palate and tongue, as a result of which the child becomes restless, often crying and refusing to eat.
Treatment of the disease
Treatment of herpes virus infections in children should be comprehensive. The doctor selects the treatment and dosage regimen on an individual basis, depending on the age, weight and condition of the child. What is included in the complex therapy?
- Antiviral drugs in pills and injections (Acyclovir, Famvir, Ganciclovir). Their action is aimed at suppressing and destroying the virus. Dosage counts individually by the attending physician.
- Local preparations. Ointments, creams and gels (Acyclovir, Zovirax, Fenistil, Panavir) are used several times a day to treat rashes, reduce painful symptoms and speed healing.
- Treatment with immunomodulating drugs. The child's body is weakened, so they use interferons and other means that stimulate the immune system (Immunal, Viferon, Cycloferon).
- Symptomatic treatment. The course of infection is often accompanied by general malaise. To reduce the temperature prescribed antipyretic drugs based on paracetamol or ibuprofen. In young children, to combat fever and fever use special forms of drugs in the form of syrups or rectal suppositories. To eliminate severe itching, antihistamines are prescribed (Diazolin, Suprastin, Tavegil).
- If the infection has spread to the eyes, use special eye ointment (Zovirax, Acyclovir), drugs Trifluridine, Vidarabin.
To strengthen and support the body of the child, they recommend a nutritious diet containing the necessary nutrients and vitamins. Preference should be given to dairy products, dietary meat, fish, vegetables and fruits. Doctors advise to adhere to a heavy drinking regime, this will help to eliminate toxins from the body. It is necessary to give the child compotes, juices, fruit drinks, decoctions, rehydration solutions. This will eliminate dehydration and remove intoxication.
With generalized forms of infection, congenital herpes and severe course of the disease, accompanied by complications, therapeutic measures are carried out in the hospital.
Treatment of folk remedies
As an additional measure, you can use the tools of traditional medicine. This will help ease the course of the disease and speed up recovery. In order to avoid allergic reactions or other complications, you should consult a doctor before using folk recipes.
- Lemon balm. Reduces inflammation, strengthens the body. For cooking broth 2st. l Melissa herbs brew 400 ml of boiling water, infuse, filter and give the child 50 ml of decoction before each meal.
- Compresses. Compresses of potatoes, carrots, and apples can be applied to the affected areas. To do this, the necessary ingredients are rubbed on a fine grater, spread on a gauze napkin and applied to the lesion for 15-20 minutes. Such simple measures can eliminate itching, burning, reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Calendula Infusion. In the acute phase of the disease well help lotion from the infusion of calendula. Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect, prevents the spread of infection, quickly removes unpleasant sensations and accelerates healing. To prepare the infusion, 1 tbsp. l Calendula flowers are brewed with 200 ml of boiling water and infused for one hour, then filtered and used as directed.
- Oil treatment. Natural oils well soften the skin, eliminate irritation and burning. For the treatment of rashes, you can use sea buckthorn oil or any vegetable, adding to it a few drops of eucalyptus extract. This oil will additionally have an antiseptic and disinfecting effect.
Prevention of herpes in children
The following measures will help prevent the recurrence of cold herpes in a child:
- Activities aimed at strengthening immunity (hardening, sports)
- Complete and balanced nutrition
- Reception of multivitamin complexes containing essential vitamins and trace elements
- Timely elimination of any foci of chronic infection
- The use of nasal antiviral ointments during epidemics
- Isolation of the patient from the children's team at the first symptoms of infection
Since the virus is transmitted in different ways, including domestic, parents need to teach the child to maintain personal hygiene from an early age. The kid should keep the hands clean and know that you can only use your own towel, toothbrush, clothes and other personal items.
In the winter season, parents can, as a prophylactic agent, give the child immunity enhancing drugs. Prescribe such funds should the attending physician.
Varieties of herpes in a child
The herpes virus has about two hundred varieties. A person is subject to attacks of only 6 types. For children, the likelihood of infection is higher than for adults, and children’s herpes can rarely have a problem-like illness.
Types of herpes in children are as follows:
- 1st and 2nd species. Herpetic formations of such forms are likely to appear as skin rashes with characteristic transparent bubbles. Since the virus is transmitted to babies more often through unwashed hands, with toys and food, the oral cavity is affected - the children put everything in their mouths. Their symptoms of infection will become obvious - it is a rash on the lips,
- 3rd species. Able to provoke chickenpox, which, if delayed treatment can recur in herpes zoster,
- 4th species. May cause subsequent development of mononucleosis infection. The most dangerous consequence of infection can be Burkitt's lymphoma, but children in predominantly equatorial Africa suffer from it.
- 5th species. Known as cytomegalovirus. It is characterized by asymptomatic flow. As a result, most children are carriers, which parents may not realize
- 6th species. Known in the circle of pediatricians - able to cause rash. Due to its similarity with rubella, this type of herpes virus is called “pseudorassna”.
In a child 1 year of life in terms of susceptibility to various kinds of viral infections is the most risky. A child of 2 years of age has significantly increased immunity, at 3 years of age it is almost formed. It is worth noting that children who have had herpes up to 5 years old will suffer relapses less than others in the future.
To understand what a parent is dealing with, it is important to examine the symptoms of the virus.
Infection of the child with herpes
Infection of the child most often occurs through contact with infected people or through objects and things that were in the hands of such people. Often the herpes virus can be transmitted to children 3, 4, 5 years from the mother who is experiencing a relapse. Especially often cases of infection occur in children 4 years.
Even in the “sleep” phase, a herpes infection can be transmitted from carrier to child — any contact between children aged 2–5 years with people who have ever had herpes becomes dangerous.In this case, the manifestation of herpes in the carrier at the time of transmission is not necessary.
In addition to direct contacts with infected, there are 3 ways of infecting children:
- When using one dish or personal hygiene of an infected person and a child,
- By airborne droplets from a person with a relapse, who is at least a little near the child,
- As a hereditary disease.
3 transmission mode is especially common provided that the mother first had a herpetic infection while pregnant. Herpes during pregnancy may not manifest: it is important to undergo a thorough examination and make it impossible for the infection to affect the fetus, as in rare cases there is a chance of miscarriage.
Do not worry moms, if the aggravation is in the nature of a relapse, because in this case, the immunity, which had developed, will protect the fetus. In any case, infection during pregnancy is better to cure in the early stages and when the first symptoms occur.
If, under any conditions, your child still caught the virus, it is important to know how to carry out the treatment.
Treatment of herpesvirus in children
Treatment of herpes in children requires speed and timeliness due to the possible complications that babies will suffer: when detecting any of the symptoms described earlier, effective and effective treatment of herpes will be important, and it does not matter how it manifests.
Many of the parents, faced with such a disease in a child, ask themselves questions: how to treat herpes than to treat? We will understand in more detail.
With the very first symptoms, antiviral therapy can be effective, which can be carried out with the help of the “Acyclovir” remedy. It can act in two ways:
- With the introduction of intravenous
- As an ointment for external use.
When using this drug, the treatment of herpes will take from 2 to 3 weeks.
It is also effective ointment from herpes "Zovirax", which is used to completely eliminate all traces of the appearance of the virus 3-4 times a day.
Other less common means
For some complications or individual recommendations, herpes medicine for children can be prescribed by the attending physician:
Widely used in the treatment of generalized forms of the virus. Belong to the group of immunoglobulins.
Herpes pills for children are represented by the following varieties:
- Local antibiotics.
In any case, if your child’s ointment for herpes did not help, you will need to consult a doctor so that he can, with a detailed analysis of the nature of the lesion, prescribe recommendations for taking the drugs in tablet form or for intravenous administration.
Preventive measures for herpes in a child
Prevention of herpes in children can be different when taking into account forms.
In cases where the manifestation of herpes in the mother of the child was noted before the 36th week, antiviral therapy with the help of “Acyclovir” will be required until the baby is born. When the disease appears after the indicated period, a cesarean section will be recommended.
After the birth of the baby, the most effective measure of prevention of the disease will be the longest possible feeding with breast milk. If herpes recurs during the feeding period, immediate treatment and the wearing of elemental means that inhibit the spread of herpes - bandages, etc., is recommended for mothers.
In cases where a child is ill, successfully cured and healthy, prevention will be reduced to the child's use of foods full of vitamins and minerals, other important trace elements. An active lifestyle, frequent walks and the health of parents affect the overall immunity of babies.
Summing up, note: from the article, we learned how to cure herpes child, how to deal with it and what types it has. Given the subtleties of the symptoms and the age of the children, many parents understand that the use of tablet preparations and the administration of their concentrates intravenously sometimes have a negative impact on the general condition of the child. This is also noted by experts. In such cases, suitable neutral remedies like ointments, and how to smear herpes - we have considered.
Do not forget about walking, active lifestyle, proper nutrition, and be healthy and let your child never get sick!
Possible consequences and complications
Complications of herpes are most often observed in children of the first months of life, as well as with a significant decrease in immunity, which may be due to various reasons. The most common complications of a herpevirus infection include:
- bacterial superinfection of the skin and internal organs,
- thrombohemorrhagic syndrome,
- swelling of the brain,
- cardiovascular failure
- Herpetiform eczema Kaposi.
The prognosis for local forms of herpes in children is favorable. It significantly decreases with the generalization of the infectious process, as well as with herpes infection of the newborn.