According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), a New York City infant contracted herpes last month as a result of an Orthodox Jewish procedure known as metzitzah b’peh (MBP) which involves orally sucking the blood off a newborn’s penis after circumcision.
Since 2000, this makes for the 13th case in New York City. According to a department alert from January, two of those infants died, and two others have suffered brain damage as a result, according to a department alert from January.
Huffington Post reports:
The infant, whose parents were not named, came down with a fever a week after being circumcised and developed vesicular lesions the next day, the email stated. The city did not disclose in which hospital the infant was born.
The department email said the ritual circumciser, known as a mohel, likely transmitted the virus to the newborn child. The department said it won’t sue the mohel, whose name was kept secret by the infant’s parents, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.
The New York City Board of Health passed a number of regulations concerning the controversial oral suction procedure, including requiring cases of herpes in infants younger than 60 days to be reported to the city.
The board also unanimously voted to require parents to sign a consent form before a mohel can perform metzitzah b’peh, also known as “snip and suck,” in September.
Sounds to us like there need to be a lot more regulation on this procedure!