Can be mild to fatal. Because herpes simplex infections in newborns and very young babies can be life-threatening, mothers with genital herpes outbreaks in labor can be safely delivered by c-section. Herpes in a newborn can be mild or can spread all through the baby's body, including the brain. In the brain, the virus causes encephalitis, with seizures, lethargy, brain damage, and even death.
Depends. Risk for transmission is highest to those with their first outbreak in the period around delivery. With secondary outbreaks, there is less risk, and some when the germ sheds without obvious lesions. Planned delivery before or early in labor before the rupture of membranes can avoid most of the risk.If baby picks it up, it often makes swiss cheese out of the brain or kills them within weeks.