By Daniel S. Berman, M.D.
It has been more than seven years since the reports broke out in the media that the Metzitza bePeh (hereinafter, MbP) part of the ritual of Jewish circumcision caused Herpes simplex infection in babies. This became a topic of great concern and much discussion in the Jewish community. One baby tragically died of neonatal (within six weeks of birth) Herpes simplex infection following a Bris which included MbP. Also, around this time, a controversial article was published in the journal Pediatrics, which claimed to prove that MbP was a direct cause of Herpes simplex infection in babies.
All of this prompted action by the New York City Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health against one particular Mohel, who had been linked to three cases of Herpes simplex infection.
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