Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Two babies get herpes during ritual circumcision

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The New York City Department of Health has issued an alert after two babies were diagnosed with neonatal herpes this month after undergoing a ritual Jewish circumcision called metzitzah b'peh.

In this type of circumcision the mohel sucks blood directly from the infant's cut penis.

The infants need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous acyclovir.

There have only been 16 confirmed cases of herpes being transmitted during circumcision since 2000 but three of those cases are from 2014. Two of the 16 infants died and at least two others suffered brain damage, according to the health department.

In both of the July cases, the infant boys were born to mothers with full-term pregnancies, had normal vaginal deliveries, and underwent the circumcision on day 8 of life.

In the first case, the baby was evaluated as an outpatient 8 days later with lesions on the penis and genital area. The baby was admitted to a hospital for treatment and was released but had to be readmitted a few days later.

In the second case, the baby developed lesions on his penis, thigh and foot on day 7. Three days later the baby's pediatrician recommended the baby be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

The practice came up during the election that Bill de Blasio won in the fall. The mayor has said that protecting children is his priority but has continued a policy of informed consent for parents whose children are to undergo the circumcision.

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