Neonatal herpes is a rare disorder affecting newborn infants infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), also called herpesvirus hominis. In most instances, a parent with oral or genital herpes transfers the disorder to an offspring before, during, or shortly after birth. Symptoms vary from mild to severe depending on which of two types of herpes simplex virus is involved. Type 1 HSV is responsible for the more severe cases of the disorder while patients with Type 2 HSV usually present with milder symptoms.
Another way of classifying this disorder depends on probable outcomes (prognosis). Using prognosis as the classifying principal yields three forms: