New York, NY – NYC Health Dept. Issues “Alert” To Medical Community After New Case Of Neonatal Herpes From MBP


    FILE PHOTO ILUSTRATION - A baby sucks on a piece of bandage dipped in wine after his circumcision. ReutersNew York, NY – The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has issued an “alert” to the city’s medical community following a January 2014 case of neonatal herpes following the Jewish circumcision ritual metzitzah b’peh, or MBP.

    According to the document, the newborn was the product of a full term pregnancy and underwent the MBP ritual on his 8th day of life, after which a doctor conducting a routine check-up the following week noticed a rash on the child.

    After a series of unsuccessful treatments, HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus, type 1) was suspected and specimens were collected and sent off to the New York State Wadsworth Center Laboratories.

    The child was hospitalized for treatment after the diagnosis of HSV-1 was confirmed.

    According to the release it is the 14th laboratory-confirmed case of MBP-related HSV-1 on record at the Health Dept. since 2000, two of which resulted in death—while yet another two young boys suffered brain damage.

    The issue of MBP has continued to be a hot-button topic for New Yorkers, more specifically New York’s Jewish community after former-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s implementation of parental consent forms sparked outrage.

    At a January 16 news conference, new Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on his campaign promise to work with Jewish community members and religious leaders to actively seek an alternative to the consent forms, but said that for the time being they will remain in place.

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    1. It boggles my mind. Use a straw! Your mouth does not have to be on an open, bleeding wound. It disgusts me that people are fighting this and fighting the consent form.

        • Go get ’em Levin…name calling suits you. After all, with such dismissive argumentum adhominim you can just skip any response of substance!

          And by the way Bright Light, do you leech your wounds…or better yet, as we learn in tomorrow’s DAF, eat the liver of the dog that bit you…or have no knowledge of bacterial and virul infection “…EXACTLY as the minhag in klal Yisroel…” was for thousands of years? Mind-boggling you are.

      • when your finger get jammed in the door, or when you get a burn on your finger, what is your first instinct? you suck it with your MOUTH!! AND THE PAIN GOES AWAY, same here!!!! we will never give it up

    2. How do they know its from MBP? Anyway the torah does not giving us a mitzva where we can get sick, שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רע (we doing it already 5500 years & no one will stop us doing it)

      • What Torah do you follow?

        Avraham Avinu was commanded on Bris about 3700 years ago, not 5500 years ago!!

        Avraham was born approximately 1948 years after creation !!
        Itzchak was born approximately 2048 after creation

        The Torah was given 2448 years after creation…

        5774 – 2448 = 3326,

        רבי מאיר אומר, הוי מעט עוסק, ועסוק בתורה; ושפל רוח, בפני כל אדם. ואם בטלת מן התורה, יש לו בטילים הרבה כנגדך; ואם עמלת בתורה, יש לו שכר הרבה ליתן לך.

        רבי יהודה אומר, הוי זהיר בתלמוד–ששגגת התלמוד, עולה זדון

        רבי אומר, אל תסתכל בקנקן, אלא במה שיש בו: יש קנקן חדש, מלא ישן; וישן, אפילו חדש אין בו

      • You are absolutely right and the Torah certainly never gave us MBP! Why don’t you research the origins of MBP carefully. Be an informed leader and not an ignorant follower putting our priceless precious children at risk.

      • The Torah didn’t give us a mitzvah that requires direct contact between the wound and the mohel’s mouth.

        And we weren’t doing MBP 1600+ years before Avrohom Avinu a”h was given the mitzvah of bris milah.

        Other than that, you got your facts straight.

          • You just tossed the gemara in today’s daf yomi that discusses pikuach nefesh. There are only three mitzvot for which we endanger our lives: Not worshiping idols, not engaging in forbidden sexual relations, and not committing murder. MBP isn’t one of those three.

            You need to quit promoting your right wing nonsense and get back to the beit midrash. Especially since in this case your right wing nonsense is endangering the lives of Jewish children.

    3. So, I always understood that pikuach nefesh trumped every other mitzvah. Isn’t it time for us all to agree that it finally trumps MPB. The medical evidence is getting more clear and we are making our children sick. This is undisputable. I simply can’t believe that Hashem would ask us to something that could potentially hurt or kill our children. Hashem even gave Avraham a way out before anything happened to Yitzchak.

      • Just because you say it’s “undisputable” (NO SUCH WORD!!!!) doesn’t make it so. The FACT is that the stats are cooked by people like you who have this great desire to do away with mitzvahs or minhagim that you in your pithy mind don’t understand. Unlike you, most of us aren’t suffering from jew guilt.

      • Because only through bodily fluids can this disease get transferred. Like c”v HIV- breathing doesn’t infect others as it isn’t airborne!!! So the lab aims to find a cause and they go through the patients entire medical history and recent life to try to find the source of exposure. If the parents both don’t have it, mom specifically, then it wouldn’t be there at birth with the transfers of blood that occur. He has had a major medical procedure (bris) and had an open wound become in contact with a possibly tainted bodily fluid (spit, blood, sore). Let the mohel be tested so he doesn’t infect others!
        If it’s not the mohel, what else do you expose your kid to??? Whose bodily fluids are touching his bris wound??????

        All mohels who do MBP should be tested regularly to know if they are contaminated BEFORE anyone hires them!!

    4. Unfortunately, there is a very big center in Monroe for children with special needs. The vast majority are boys and the suspicion is that they’re a product of MBP.

      Actually, we are ourselves special needs, because we don’t want to realize that MBP is only a health remedy not part of the Mitzvah.

      • If mom and dad don’t have it, if he didn’t have it earlier than the bris, if there were no other health concerns…l don’t want to know what you expose your kid to. It is transferred through bodily fluids, so someone had to physically expose the kid’s open wound to their bodily fluids (that are contaminated). It’s not MBP per say-just the guy doing it!

      • Shota, there is no refuah shleima for Herpes 1 or 2, they are lifelong infections with recurrent outbreaks. It is an absolute Rishus being perpetrated by Mohelim who insist on using direct oral suctioning.

      • With the recent News of the Mohel in Pittsburg who severed a babies organ during the Bris and is now being sued and now this, it is becoming a real Chilul Hashem that Mohelim are not using all possible modern methods to ensure the safety of the Rach Hanimol during and after the Bris. The arrogant attitude that this is how we always did it and we do not have to change is plain and simple wrong. Arrogance as we see from the Sifrei Mussar leads to a lot of problems and we see here a clear example of it. Mohelim and Rabbonim need to stop being so arrogant about this matter and adopt some humility and admit they may be wrong and take corrective action. It is embarrassing that we could not be self governing and impose our own strict rules on safety and sterility of bris procedures on our own and we have to be prodded by the government and these horrible stories. That leading organizations and individuals in the frum community have mischaracterized this as anti Semitism is equally offensive and embarrassing.I spoke to a prominent NYU Pediatric Urologist who said he often had to perform corrective surgery on botched Brissim which includes skin grafts when too much was removed.

    5. If I knew then what I know now, I would have asked the Mohel to provide a certificate of testing that he did not have Herpes of the mouth. If no Mohel was available with said certificate, we would have done Metzitza some other way. Why put your babies life at risk?

    6. No proof that it is related to MBP here. It is probably hospital related or doctor’ office related like all non-MBP cases nationwide.

      Accordingly hospitals and doctors should be banned!!!

    7. Moshe Rabeinu traveled by Camels and Donkeys, why do you use a car? Is it possible the only reason this started is that MBP was the safest way to clean the wound at that time? Time for this tradition to go. Kapores with chickens in middle of Boro Park should be next.

    8. Maybe the family should investigate in advance the health of the mohel and keep their child healthy, and keep the anti religous out of this.
      How about asking the moehel to volunterily test himself and rule out himself as the source.

    9. herpes simplex virus 1 is ORAL herpes. this is not genital herpes (herpes simplex virus 2) that is transmitted from sexual intercourse. hsv1 would not normally be present on someone’s genitals unless it was transmitted by someone’s mouth (it is possible from oral sex). if a baby has hsv1 on his genitals then the culprit must be the mohel because that’s where the virus is present! doctors are not idiots, and they are not looking to cause a war in our community for nothing. metzitza b’pah is not a safe practice – end of story. anyone who says otherwise is refusing to see basic facts. how many more horror stories have to happen before rabbanim stand up and finally end this practice?!

    10. Alterg, Mark Levin, Reb Yid and all your ilk…You are a bunch of Flat Earthers…denying clear science. B”H the Mesorah has the Rambam who teaches us how wrong you are.

      This fight is sociological and not Halachic, with the Chareidi ghetto dwellers defiantly sticking to their guns because No-Goyishe-Knowledge-No-How will ever change how they live. Reminds me of Monsey Chassidim I met at a tisch for whom wrist watches, and even for some leather shoes, are out because they are “too mo-dern.”

      Using a glass tube may not be their shita, but I don’t hear these long-for-the-alter-heim-neanderthals saying that a bris milah peformed with one isn’t kosher. For the sake of the handful of families who would be saved from tragedy, they should just give it up.

      • You have a problem with mesorah? What other mesorah have you given up on because it doesnt fit your uber liberal lifestyle? Tfilin? Kashrus? Taharas hamishpocha? You could find your krumma science hypocrisy with those too.

    11. Did anyone check the Mohel, (if he’s not infected, then its proof it was not him).
      Did anyone check the other siblings, or the parents.
      Did anyone verify if the delivery room staff washed their hands before or between patients. (Its a documented fact that hand washing is frequently ignored in hospitals).
      Did anyone check if other babies delivered in that hospital around that time also got herpes? What about nurses in the hospital nursery?
      Did anyone study how many goyish babies with no bris (and certainly no MPB) have herpes? and at what ratio of population?
      Simple question; Is there a statisical difference between mbp babies and nonMBP babies? This answers the question.
      I accuse #5 of lying. Please back up your statement and tell us which ‘facility’ has such a problem.
      All we have is a baby with herpes. Yes he had a bris, he also had a taxi ride or whatever.

    12. To #1; Your disgust does not trump my religious freedom, Mind boggles notwithstanding. I dont agree the baby is harmed.
      To #3; With all due respect Hashem did not ‘give Avraham a way out”. Hashem told him to put Yitzchok on the Mizbayach(if you read the words carefully you will notice it does not say ‘kill’ him, only put him on the mizbayach, and Then told him to take him off. It was not multiple choice.
      To #5; BACK IT UP !! Its a mitzvah we do, not a health remedy. We fast on Yom kippur before we realized it has health benefits. With dont eat chometz on pesach before we heard of ‘cleansing’ our body from yeast. we dont eat pig before we heard of its sickness. we are not promiscuous before we heard of STD.
      Bottom line mitzvah are done because we are told to. The fact that Hashem protects us is a religious/philosophical debate.

      • “I dont agree the baby is harmed” And who are you to offer an opinion on this case…other than one who deals with dissonance by denial?

        My immigrant father, zt’l, used to say “America is a wonderfully free country….anyone is free to express an opinion…even dumbkopfs.”

        • Well obviusly it was a typo and was to read; harmed from MBP. The article starts off with that he was harmed.
          Imagine that! a whole lengthy comment and all you find to reply on is a typo.
          Dumbkopfs not whitstanding.

      • The Jewish religion states emphatically that we dismiss even a mitzvah … kal vchomer … a minhag if it will cause mesiras nefesh. If one is a choleh they do NOT fast on YK. If one is a choleh and chametz must be had on pesach, it is allowed. If 2 boys in the same family die after a bris .. we don’t do the bris on a third. Metzizah is the requirement, not bpeh. We don’t risk the lives of our babies for a minhag or even for the mitzvah. If you do not understand the science involved, you should not be commenting here. The more MbP is done, the more cases that will ultimately lead to either the fatality or sickness of a child. One child dead or sick is one too many.

        • The more mbp os done the more…..
          I reiterate;
          show me a study with statisical comparisons and ratios comparing babies with mbp and without. Non mbp babies also get herpes. So is there a higher percentage? yes or no?
          There is no such study/comparison? then that would amount to bias by these groups.

        • Yes it is a religious freedom. My religion.
          On what basis did you decide it is not my religion?
          (Remember you are not making a medical argument rather a religious argument)

    13. According to the CDC 1 out of 3500 babies get infected with “Neonatal herpes simplex” .
      There are about 7000 MBP done per year. As long as there are 2-3 case per year it would fall in the normal range even without MBP.
      For them to say it is definetly from MBP without any DNA proof matching it to the Mohel makes very skeptical what their motives are. I find a pattern in the whole “enlighten world” that after 4000 years all of a sudden Bris Milah in general became very “unhealthy barbaric and backward” while LGBT activity which in NYC alone adds 5000 cases of HIV per year Plus 11 other viruses is considerd “normal healthy and elightened” behavier” .

          • I believe the victim should have a right to sue the Mohel for everything he has and more. The Mohel should be required to submit to DNA testing by law. Anything less in an obstruction of justice!

          • These ignorants are afraid for another reason. A large majority of chassidim, in their complete ignorance of science, think that herpes (1 and 2) is a sexually trasmitted disease. If the mohel tests positive, he is afraid that people will think he’s sleeping around. They are a real bunch of nebechels.

    14. How many female infants in the frum community are diagnosed with MBP? If there are far fewer females than males we can assume that MBP is caused by factors that effect boys but not girls.

      • You mean HSV not MBP … MBP is the conduit by which HSV is spread and since MbP is not performed on girls ever …. tis true that there have not been publicized documented cases of genital herpes in infant girls in the Jewish community.

    15. According to the CDC 15% of kids born to HIV mothers are HIV positive.
      Per the CDC over 80% of HIV women contracted the virus from a male that got it from “gay relations”.
      So if the suspected herpes infection rate from MBP is per CDC 0.03% versus 15% for HIV babies why at the minimum dosent the GOV. force every gay person to sign a CONSENT form before they engage in “extremly unhealthy activity”?
      That hypocraty is what make me very skeptical as to the true motive of the goverment.

      • Do you understand what hypocrisy means ?
        There are INFANTS involved here. Adults engaging in a variety of unhealthy activities have the option of educating themselves in the ways to reduce the risk. Every gay person has ways to reduce the risk of infection including not partaking in risky behaviors in the first place.
        INFANTS on the other hand, cannot choose not to participate in the bris nor can they demand that a straw be used.
        And btw – the government does limit adult behavior that is deemed risky – like crack cocaine (always illegal even for people who like it!).
        or like requiring that seat belts be worn while riding in a car.
        And the government does require adults signing consent forms when going into surgery, or when visiting a doctor (HIPAA). So PLEASE don’t embarrass us with your “hypocraty”. And PLEASE think for a minute about whether or not this is a healthy activity NOT whether or not the goyim are “trying to get you” You seem to care more about whether the Government is trying to get you than whether the babies are getting a safe bris – and yes it is a kosher bris but other comments have said it a lot better than I could so read those.

        • #50 read again my post I could care less what consenting adults.
          However I’m concerned about the 15% of infants that are born with HIV getting it from the mother that got it thru a gay man.
          Now THATS why gays should have to sign a consent form because of the CHILDREN that get infected thru no fault on their own but from “unhealthy and virus filled adults”. And we must protect the innocent CHILDREN.

          • So according to you, if gay men sign a consent form then neither or those men will ever have a relationship with a woman and no children will be born with HIV? Are you kidding or just lacking in critical thinking skills? Or are your writing skills not stellar today and you mean that all women should sign a consent form in case their partners or husbands have previously had secret gay relationships with HIV positive men because just in case…. hmmm… now that might make sense but Chassidish women would not be exempt so you would still be fighting consent forms.

      • Because the kid over here doesn’t get a say with MPB. Having relations with anyone is a choice by the participating parties and in this day and age people know to be cautious.

    16. Can someone please explain to me the reason for MBP? I have been told there is big mesorah for it etc – but that still doesn’t explain why it is still done today. I am sure that Avrohom Avinu didn’t use gloves, sterilizing ointments & bandages like we use nowadays. I guess that MBP is meant to clean the wound, but would anyone ever consider asking his / her doctor to suck on any other wound?
      What the Mesorah reason for MBP?

      • The reason for MBP is that some lost challenge of western hating human direction in the past devised a plan to pray for the messiah to come fast by removing talking direction from honor’s place. It was a pleasant way to scare the thrills of human advancement and clearly there is no party of direction in the home of the MBP fan.

        I would go so far as to tell you that anyone who seeks a MBP by their childs direction today is a comical advance of lost liberty against the wall of unsolved dreams. The ultra Chassidic world is not always true to Hashems design and in many ways is exactly the opposite of a progressive Torah True Jewish community.

    17. Many commentators hear are vehemently denying that this is a result of MBP. You have that choice. That’s fine, you can continue to put your children at risk, mine will not be exposed to this risk.

    18. What a wonder folks. Do a disgustingly illicit procedure and your kid gets a very bad infection that is lifelong. Way to go to the ultra Chassidic community. Your shoes are just getting bigger and bigger.

      • Disgusting is in the head. every act has its context.
        According to you , my proctologist is also disgusting.
        “to boldly go where no man has gone before” !!!

    19. The Gemoroh and all the Rishonim and Noiseh Kelim on Shilchon Orech, including the Mishne Berura say the the reason for MBP is Health Remedy. If it would be part of the Mitzvah, it would be silly to say Health Remedy,. (Priah is Doche Shabos even though its not health remedy)
      The fact is that we don’t do MBP on older boys and adults, why, because it’s Not part of the Mitzvah, period.

    20. Many of us do not accept the theory of evolution, but we all accept the germ theory of disease. If any one of us had a dermatologist remove a growth and then suck on it with his mouth, we’d go screaming to lawyers and the Board of Health. Why do we risk infection in our infant sons?

      • I for one accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution and the germ theory of disease. Your example is a good one, and one that no one has a good answer to, except to say “well, its a mitzvah, so it cant be unhealthy”

    21. will someone please explain to me what’s the purpose of a consent form? How does that protect the child? That the Mohel should be tested – that does make sense.

    22. Too many of you pithy minded people like yonassanw or whatever your name is would drop mitzvos and avayros because they aren’t in sync with “modern” thinking.

      I’ll stick to torah and my mesorah thank you. You could follow the MO who are more M than O!

    23. Hold on – what would be the halachic problem with having the mohel tested? Even though this problem doesn’t happen often, still, for the baby who is infected, it’s a nightmare.

    24. If you do some research on infants contracting youll find that Herpes is most likely to be transmitted to a baby from the mother and this is typically herpes type 2. For a baby to get oral herpes or type 1 is not as common. This particular baby did get type 1 which is orally transmitted. Is there really any question as to how this baby contracted type 1? Talk to anybody who specializes in transmission of infectious diseases if you need more information.

    25. According to the release it is the 14th laboratory-confirmed case of MBP-related HSV-1 on record at the Health Dept. since 2000,

      Is it confirmed that related to MBP? Or its confirmed HSV-1 positive case on a baby that had MBP?

      How many HSV-1 possitives was confirmed on babies this age that didn’t had MBP? Is there a record? If yes, why don’t they say that? That will proof there case better. But they aren’t talking about that!!!

      • According to the CDC website in the general population 1 out of 3500 babies get HSV-1 and there are about 7000 mbp per year that should come to 2 case per year without MBP.
        If there are only 14 cases in the last 14 years in the frum community that means there is actually an even lower rate of HSV (1 per 7000 vs 1 per 3500 ) after MBP. So actually it migh have a health benefit after all.

        • Before indicating what a health benefit this would be, we need to understand what the statistic is for contraction of HSV-1 for Jewish Male Circumcision with MBP vs Jewish Male Circumcision without MBP. I’m sure that would be a more telling statistic.

        • Shota, If there are 14 cases that were reported than there are likely at least double that number that have not been reported. There is no centralized data collection mechanism for tabulating cases of HSV1 or HSV2 in the frum community and there is also no mechanism for reporting and collecting any other potential adverse events from incompetent or negligent Mohelim. Perhaps if there were, the standards would be improved. Perhaps the Mohel in Pittsburg who cut off the babies penis by “accident” would have been removed from the profession earlier due to his obvious incompetence. I also feel sorry for the future spouses of those who have been infected by HSV due to Bris. I have a feeling they will not reveal it prior to marriage. SInce MBP caused Herpes is 100% preventable, there is no excuse not to prevent it. Those evil fools who are trying to protect this unsafe minhag will have to answer to HKBH after 120 years for the Hezek caused to their victims and for the Chilul Hashem. If you are an Am Haaretz in medical matters you have no business paskening them.


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