There are some things that a woman should know just before she gets married and this, right here, is just one of those. 

It is about how herpes (a virus causing contagious sores, most often around the mouth or on the genitals) and how it could lead to blindness in newborns. 

A general medical practitioner, Dr Panshak Tenmang of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos, has stressed the need for pregnant women with herpes to treat the disease to avoid this blindness in newborns.

Tenmang, a Senior Registrar with JUTH, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Jos.

He said blindness or eye infection could occur through the birth canal at the point of delivery or transmitted to the child through the placenta or the umbilical cord.

According to him, the infant’s cornea (the transparent membrane that covers the front of the eyeball) can be affected or damaged.

Herpes is also contagious and gives rise to watery blisters and can be transmitted sexually.

Tenmang urged pregnant women to ensure they go for their routine antenatal as it could be detected and treated to prevent the unborn child from being born with eye infection or a damaged cornea.

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He said that untreated or poorly treated upper respiratory tract infection and dental infection in a child could also lead to orbital cellulites, which could lead to blindness.

Tenmang explained that Orbital cellulite is most commonly caused by an acute spread of infection in the eye socket from either the adjacent sinus or blood.

He said that besides blindness, it could also lead to decreased vision, loss of sensorium or death.

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