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Neonatal Risk Following Late Gestational Genital Herpesvirus Hominis Infection

MARVIN S. AMSTEY, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(8):985. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120450087024.
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Sir.—The report by St. Geme et al, which appeared in the March issue of the Journal (129:342, 1975), is interesting anecdotal information. However, their comment that no opportunity was available to modify the delivery of one of the infants is not accurate. The authors noted the fact that genital labial lesions were present four days prior to delivery. The physicians then waited for virologic confirmation that did not become available until the time of delivery. Unfortunately, the authors did not comment on the ability of cytologic smears of lesions, fixed and stained by the Papanicolaou technique, to diagnose herpesvirus infections. Smears of clinically apparent genital lesions that demonstrate the characteristic nuclear changes of herpesvirus are diagnostic for genital herpesvirus infection. This technique is capable of providing answers in terms of hours instead of days, and it is the patient very close to term, or the patient in labor with

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