About 40 million Americans are infected with genital herpes, an ailment whose symptoms -- sores, itching, tingling or tenderness -- are undetectable in many cases. The American Social Health Association urges pregnant women to find out whether they carry the virus, so that special precautions can be taken during delivery.
In infants, herpes can cause eye or throat infections, damage to the central nervous system, mental retardation or death. ASHA has published a brochure, "Herpes Simplex and Pregnancy," which explains how herpes simplex can spread to an infant and which babies are most at risk. To order a copy, write to ASHA, Dept. PR78, P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709. Enclose $1 for postage and handling.