New 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.