Another Case Of Metzitzah B'Peh Herpes Infection?
NYC's Department of Health is investigating another Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 infection of a newborn, and a source in the medical community says the infection was given to the baby by a mohel who sucked the baby's penis after cutting off the baby's foreskin.
Hella Winston reports in The Jewish Week:
The New York City Department of Health received a report within the last week of an infant with symptoms of neonatal herpes and the case is currently under investigation, The Jewish Week has learned. (By law, such reports must be made within 24 hours of a diagnosis).
While the health department could not confirm where the report came from or whether it involved the circumcision ritual metzitzah b’peh, a source in the medical community told The Jewish Week that a suspected case of neonatal herpes related to metzitzah b’peh, or oral suction, has been treated at Maimonides Hospital within the past week.
Eileen Tynion, a spokeswoman for Maimonides, told The Jewish Week, “we are bound by federal law (HIPAA) and can neither confirm nor deny the presence of any patient in our hospital.”…
Winston also reports that Rockland County's health commissioner said the two 2009 cases there could not be linked to a particular mohel because the mohel(s) who did those circumcisions could not be identified by the health department. Why? Because haredim – including the families of the sickened infants – closed ranks to protects the mohel(s), and did not cooperate with the health department's investigation.