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Just how did 11 babies contract herpes through circumcision?

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lazybones18

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The report is sure to reignite a long-simmering debate over public health and religious liberties: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Thursday that 11 baby boys in New York City were infected with herpes between Nov. 2000 and Dec. 2011 following an ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual called metzitzah b’peh — or oral suction — in which the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood.

Ten of the babies were hospitalized, at least two developed brain damage and two died, according to the New York City health department. In 2005, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked rabbis throughout the city to move away from performing metzitzah b’peh — and also issued an open letter [PDF] to the Jewish community warning of the health risks — but they refused claiming the practice was safe.

According to the CDC report, the investigation into circumcision-related herpes infections in newborns began in 2004 when New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) was notified of twin boys who had contracted herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1, the type that causes cold sores and is usually transmitted orally) following circumcision with metzitzah b’peh; one twin died. Both twins were circumcised by the same mohel, whom the CDC report refers to as “mohel A.”

During the investigation, the DOHMH learned of another 2003 case of neonatal HSV-1 infection after circumcision, also involving mohel A. In all three cases, the babies’ mothers and the hospital staff who cared for the infants had no history of herpes infection. When mohel A was tested about three months after the 2004 circumcisions, he showed antibodies to HSV in his blood, but was not found to be actively shedding the virus.

In all three cases, the babies developed lesions or vesicles in their genital areas about 8 to 10 days after their ritual circumcision; the timing and location of the babies’ symptoms suggest that the infections were introduced during circumcision, the CDC reports. The health officials’ investigation further uncovered eight other similar cases through Dec. 2011 in New York City, bringing the total to 11.

About 85% of all neonatal HSV infections (including HSV-2, which causes genital herpes) are transmitted during delivery from an infected mother, 5% of infections are congenital and 10% are acquired after birth, usually from adult caregivers. HSV-1 is extremely common in the adult population — infecting some 73% of New York City adults over 20 — but the CDC report finds that HSV-1 infection in baby boys is rare, with about three cases a year on average in New York City.

Based on the overall incidence of neonatal HSV infections, total birth statistics and estimates of boys being circumcised with direct oral-genital suction (about 3,564 a year in New York City), health officials estimate that the risk of HSV infection in baby boys after metzitzah b’peh is 3.4 times greater than in boys who aren’t exposed to oral suction. Overall, the risk of herpes infection following metzitzah b’peh was 24.4 per 100,000 baby boys between April 2006 and Dec. 2011, the CDC estimates.

The authors of the CDC report write:

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that can transmit infection if not performed under sterile conditions. Oral contact with an open wound in a neonate risks transmission of HSV and other pathogens. Professionals advising parents and parents choosing Jewish ritual circumcision should be aware of this risk, and direct orogenital suction should be avoided.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley also released a statement [PDF] urging that metzitzah b’peh not be performed. The health department also announced that several New York City hospitals, including those serving Hasidic Jewish communities, have agreed to distribute a brochure [PDF] describing the herpes risk to infants and advising parents considering out-of-hospital Jewish circumcision to ask the mohel before the bris whether he practices metzitzah b’peh. If so, parents can talk to their health-care providers and consider other options for circumcision.

“There is no safe way to perform oral suction on any open wound in a newborn,” Farley said. “Parents considering ritual Jewish circumcision need to know that circumcision should only be performed under sterile conditions, like any other procedures that create open cuts, whether by mohelim or medical professionals.”

The following New York City hospitals will be distributing the brochure:

All HHC facilities
Maimonides
NYU-Langone
North Shore LIJ
Staten Island University
Lenox Hill
New York Methodist
New York Presbyterian
Forest Hills

During the course of the DOHMH investigation, health officials determined that four mohelim were confirmed to be involved in seven of the herpes cases. In two of those cases (involving the same mohel who circumcised two brothers three years apart), parents declined to reveal the identify of the practitioner, so it’s not clear whether he was the same mohel involved in any of the other cases. Therefore, the total number of mohelim involved in the 11 cases can’t be determined, but the investigators presume it is at least three and not more than eight.

None of the mohelim are identified by name in the current CDC report. However, previous news accounts of neonatal herpes infections following ritual Jewish circumcision and oral suction in 2003 and 2004 identified Rabbi Yitzchock Fischer as the mohel. He was subsequently banned from performing the ritual in New York City.

“We’re not oblivious to what’s going on,” Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, told the New York Times in March, regarding the health risks surrounding metzitzah b’peh. He added: “The worst thing that could happen is if the authorities regulate this practice, then it could go underground. … I think the practice would continue, but there could be significant difficulty in gathering evidence.”

The CDC report is published in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/...abies-contracted-herpes-through-circumcision/
 

LQX

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Dec 18, 2008
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I really have to wonder at the sick fuck that came up with that practice of sucking away the blood from a child's penis. Like what was the thought process of that, even hundreds of years ago. Mind boggling.
 

Tacitus_

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The report is sure to reignite a long-simmering debate over public health and religious liberties: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Thursday that 11 baby boys in New York City were infected with herpes between Nov. 2000 and Dec. 2011 following an ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual called metzitzah b’peh — or oral suction — in which the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood.

The idiocy of some people.
 

Fari

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the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood
 

shuri

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Wtf are the parents doing.. Yeah old dude is gonna suck on my son's baby cock to stop the blood; its part of tradition you see!
 

Az

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the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood
wat the wat wat...
wat
 

Trojita

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11 baby boys in New York City were infected with herpes between Nov. 2000 and Dec. 2011 following an ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual called metzitzah b’peh — or oral suction — in which the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood.

What the fuck.......
 
Jan 22, 2008
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73% of New Yorkers over 20 are infected with cold sores. Does that mean they have the virus in their bodies, but don't get cold sores, or is that the % that have outbreaks?
 

GraveRobberX

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Even hear in NYC, I have Jewish friends, and I have never heard this, and most I know just had the basic version, is this an ultra deluxe version?

/derial
OK I had a circumcision in Pakistan, but it was a clip that's it, none of this weird baby penis sucking
My downfall was my mom thinking it was a neat idea to leave her baby boy out in the sun to dry off, and leave me by the cool bush area forgetting THERE WAS A HUGE FUCKING Fire Ant Hill next to the bushes..., I think I was < 2 years old, Well you try to decipher the rest

Ants climbed up and started nibbling away at the the just fresh cut meat, it took 5 minutes of me blood curdling cries for family member to go "Hey, Why the F is he crying so loud?"
/rerail
 

Ushojax

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I'm surprised so many didn't know about this, it came up on GAF a few times before. It's really gross and makes an already bizarre practice into something totally repulsive.
 

Hix

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Even hear in NYC, I have Jewish friends, and I have never heard this, and most I know just had the basic version, is this an ultra deluxe version?

It's not a part of halacha (Jewish law) but is what we call a minhag (custom/tradition). It's practiced in some parts of the hareidi tzibur (ultra-orthodox community) but most either don't at all or drain the blood with a sterile tube or similar.

It's fairly uncommon, hence why you've got 11 babies over the course of 11 years, accounting for less than 0.001% of Jewish males born in NYC over the period.
 

BertramCooper

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www.youtube.com
...following an ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual called metzitzah b&#8217;peh &#8212; or oral suction &#8212; in which the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn&#8217;s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood.

Get a life, Jews.
 
Feb 10, 2009
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I heard about this a few years ago from a Christopher Hitchens video on youtube that I can't seem to find right now. It's a sick practice that should be banned along with all non-medical infant circumcision. Tradition is not a valid argument as this story demonstrates.
 

Orayn

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I'm surprised so many didn't know about this, it came up on GAF a few times before. It's really gross and makes an already bizarre practice into something totally repulsive.

Yet there are many who unknowingly defend this kind of thing when they argue in favor of religious liberty being absolute. :\

I heard about this a few years ago from a Christopher Hitchens video on youtube that I can't seem to find right now. It's a sick practice that should be banned along with all non-medical circumcision. Tradition is not a valid argument as this story demonstrates.

I'm definitely in agreement with this. Circumcision itself is fine - It's an irreversible body modification, usually done for cosmetic purposes. If you want one, great! Just don't have it done to someone who doesn't or can't consent.
 

GraveRobberX

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Do all religions that carry out circumcisions do this? I've never heard of practice before. O_O

Muslims do it for cleanliness/purity from what I have been told, it's not like I had a choice in the matter

Something about piss/dirt still lingering in the foreskin and the prayer isn't fully blessed or even accepted due to the dirtiness
Hence why we do the cleaning of body parts before prayer, to wash away the grime and be pure to god... or some shit like that... I'm just a practicing Muslim LOL

It's just usually a snip snip and patch up for a few days, mostly done @ birth/early age
Rarely do you get this done when your an adult, maybe someone who becomes Muslim later in life, but I have no clue on that procedure
 
Feb 5, 2009
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It's not a part of halacha (Jewish law) but is what we call a minhag (custom/tradition). It's practiced in some parts of the hareidi tzibur (ultra-orthodox community) but most either don't at all or drain the blood with a sterile tube or similar.

It's fairly uncommon, hence why you've got 11 babies over the course of 11 years, accounting for less than 0.001% of Jewish males born in NYC over the period.

Well the figure of 11 babies relates to those infected with herpes, not how many have been part of this ceremony.

This is something that will shock the Orthodox community. I'm assuming tests will be mandatory prior from now on

Muslims do it for cleanliness/purity from what I have been told, it's not like I had a choice in the matter

Something about piss/dirt still lingering in the foreskin and the prayer isn't fully blessed or even accepted due to the dirtiness
Hence why we do the cleaning of body parts before prayer, to wash away the grime and be pure to god... or some shit like that... I'm just a practicing Muslim LOL

I think what he was asking for was whether any blood was sucked
 

Tuck

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oral suction — in which the mohel puts his mouth directly on the newborn’s circumcised penis and sucks away the blood.

What the fuck?

How is that not illegal? Circumcision is one thing, but that's absolutely sick.
 

Orayn

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Well the figure of 11 babies relates to those infected with herpes, not how many have been part of this ceremony.

This is something that will shock the Orthodox community. I'm assuming tests will be mandatory prior from now on

And then I will roll my eyes at the absurd notion that it's okay to perform cosmetic surgery on an infant with no anesthesia and suck the blood off his penis, but only if you're an ultra-orthodox rabbi who doesn't have any STDs!

I'm sorry if I'm being disrespectful to anyone, but that's just ridiculous.
 

Mrs. Manky

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Do they know if all the boys had the same mohel? That would hopefully narrow down the suspects. And the ultra Orthodox community isn't so large that people wouldn't know who was done by whom, right?
 

Speedymanic

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Muslims do it for cleanliness/purity from what I have been told, it's not like I had a choice in the matter

Something about piss/dirt still lingering in the foreskin and the prayer isn't fully blessed or even accepted due to the dirtiness
Hence why we do the cleaning of body parts before prayer, to wash away the grime and be pure to god... or some shit like that... I'm just a practicing Muslim LOL

It's just usually a snip snip and patch up for a few days, mostly done @ birth/early age
Rarely do you get this done when your an adult, maybe someone who becomes Muslim later in life, but I have no clue on that procedure

Oh, sorry must have misinterpreted it wrongly

Answer: "FUCK NO... in Islam!"

Thanks for the reply.

Can you imagine the shit-storm if this was also practiced in Islam?
 

jimi_dini

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Aug 13, 2011
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I don't even understand how any parent would allow this.

"...and because of our religion, I'm going to suck away the blood from your son's penis..."

"what? you do what? What the fuck, you sick fuck, get out of here"

(not wanting to offend anyone, but I mean wtf. who would allow this, seriously)
 
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