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Herpes Strikes Two More Infants After Ritual Circumcision


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#1 Jai604

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

Some of you might be aware of the practice of oral suction by rabbis after ritual circumcision, some of you might not.

http://abcnews.go.co...84#.UV93llfSlVV


Herpes Strikes Two More Infants After Ritual Circumcision


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A Mohel performs a circumcision ceremony to an 8-day-old Jewish boy. (Getty Images)




By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES (@SusanDJames)
April 5, 2013


Two infants in the last three months in New York City's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community have been infected with herpes following a ritualcircumcision, according to the health department. The boys were not identified.
In the most controversial part of this version of the Jewish ritual, known as metzitzah b'peh, the practitioner, or mohel, places his mouth around the baby's penis to suck the blood to "cleanse" the wound.
One of the two infected babies developed a fever and lesion on its scrotum seven days after the circumcision, and tests for HSV-1 were positive, according to the health department.
Last year, the New York City Board of Health voted to require parents tosign a written consent that warns them of the risks of this practice. None of the parents of the two boys who were recently infected signed the form, according Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control at theNew York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

"First, these are serious infections in newborns and second, there is no safe way an individual can perform oral suction on an open wound," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. "Third, these terrible infections are completely preventable. They should not occur in the 21st century with our scientific knowledge."
Neonatal herpes infections can cause death or disability among infants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since 2000, there have been 13 cases of herpes associated with the ritual, including two deaths and two other babies with brain damage.Varma said it was "too early to tell" if the babies will suffer long-term health consequences from the infection.

Some rabbis told ABCNews.com last year that they opposed on religious grounds the law requiring parents to sign a waiver, insisting it has been performed "tens of thousands of times a year" worldwide. They say safeguarding the life of a child is one of the religion's highest principles.
"This is the government forcing a rabbi practicing a religious ritual to tell his congregants it could hurt their child," Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the Hasidic United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, told ABCNews.com. "If, God forbid, there was a danger, we would be the first to stop the practice."

In January, a federal judge ruled against the group's legal maneuver to block the city policy.
"As enacted, the regulation does no more than ensure that parents can make an informed decision whether to grant or deny such consent," Judge Nami Reice Buchwald said at the time, according to the New York Daily News.
Some estimate that 70 percent of the general population is infected with the Type 1 herpes I (HSV-1), which can be transmitted from the mouth to the child, causing painful ulcers. It is different from Type 2 or genital herpes (HSV-2), which is a sexually transmitted disease and can cause deadly infections of the brain when a newborn passes through an infected birth canal.
"A herpes infection in a newborn baby has the risk of leading to severe illness and death," said Varma. "The reason is that the baby doesn't have the same fully developed immune system as an adult. Instead of staying in the genital area, it extends throughout different organs in the body."
The health department had issued alerts about the two latest cases -- on in January and one in March -- to urge all medical providers and laboratory staff to inquire about "direct oral suction" during a circumcision when evaluating newborn males for sepsis and to consider herpes.

"Social health policy is art of the possible and [New York City's] Bloomberg administration and the department of health worked with the [ultra-Orthodox] community to develop a policy that it hoped was both acceptable and effective," said infectious disease expert Schaffner. "That was the hope."
In 2003 and 2004, three babies, including a set of twins, were infected with Type 1 herpes; the cases were linked to circumcision, and one boy died. Another died in 2010. In the last decade, 13 babies in the city have contracted the virus, and two have had brain damage, according to health officials. All were circumcised by the metzitzah b'peh method.
The modern Jewish community uses a sterile aspiration device or pipette to clean the wound in a circumcision. About two-thirds of boys born in New York City's Hasidic communities are circumcised in the oral suction manner, according to Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America.The more than 5,000-year-old religious practice of circumcision is performed during a Jewish religious ceremony known as the bris, which is observed by Jews of all denominations around the world.

"It's clear the implementation of policy is not completely effective and that it resulted in serious, but preventable infections," he said. "Perhaps the policy needs to be revisited."
Varma said changing traditional practices in New York's ultra-Orthodox community will take time.
"We developed this law ... to balance the right of people to practice religion with the requirements of a health agency to protect everybody, especially the most vulnerable.
"We require their cooperation and it's a challenge," said Varma.
The health department could take no action against the rabbi who performed the circumcision because the parents would not reveal his identity.[/font][/font]

Edited by Jai604, 08 April 2013 - 09:02 PM.

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#2 Jagr68

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:12 PM

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I sincerely despise religion in all of its forms.
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#3 bryguy26

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:18 PM

that's just disgusting, who thought of this "practice"?
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#4 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:19 PM

And they never considered this to be a bad idea? Evidently not..
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#5 LuonGO Canucks Go

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:45 PM

Why did I read Harper strikes. On the news - Religion logic u can not abort with u r wish but we can do this to u kid without his wish
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#6 silverpig

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:45 PM

Back in say 800 BC sucking the bleeding circumcision wound may have been the best way to clean it.

Crapping in a bucket and wiping your butt with your hand was best practice at the time too.
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#7 How the west was won

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:48 PM

I didn't see a mention in the article you posted, but, one of the babies also tested positive for HIV according to this article http://www.foxnews.c...sitive-for-hiv/

It's a very sad story.

But what the hell is a rabbi with herpes and HIV thinking. This isn't a problem with the Jewish religion but this dude. He should be put in prison
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#8 silverpig

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:54 PM

I didn't see a mention in the article you posted, but, one of the babies also tested positive for HIV according to this article http://www.foxnews.c...sitive-for-hiv/

It's a very sad story.

But what the hell is a rabbi with herpes and HIV thinking. This isn't a problem with the Jewish religion but this dude. He should be put in prison


The HIV is insane.

I read that the herpes in these cases is usually (always?) HSV1. Genital herpes is HSV2.

I'm no expert and am too lazy to google, but I think HSV1 is "cold sore" herpes.
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#9 Lancaster

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:02 PM

The validity of circumcision is one thing that some agree, some other disagree.

But having a guy with HIV and herpes performing the operation in an unhygienic manner.... sue him, arrest him, and throw the (holy) book at him.
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#10 How the west was won

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:12 PM

The HIV is insane.

I read that the herpes in these cases is usually (always?) HSV1. Genital herpes is HSV2.

I'm no expert and am too lazy to google, but I think HSV1 is "cold sore" herpes.


It's makes sense that these cases are usually HSV1 as HSV1 usually shows up on the mouth. But HSV1 can also show up on the eye, ear, chest, abdomen, genitals and brain, so being just the "cold sore" variety, it is actually more dangerous than HSV2 which is generally known as genital herpes because it usually shows up on the genitals and reproductive organs, Of course, both types are unpleasant.
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#11 Pineapples

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:26 PM

I feel bad for the kids.
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#12 ajhockey

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:33 PM

That's kinda gross. And by 'kinda', I mean 'throw up in your mouth, then swallow it, then throw it back up again' gross.
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#13 nuckin_futz

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:45 PM

So it's against the law to let someone underage go into a tanning salon. However, it's OK to sexually mutilate an infant and then fellate them, possibly passing on horrible diseases?

Yeah I am sure "God" or whomever the creator of mankind is has no problem with that.

Edited by nuckin_futz, 08 April 2013 - 10:45 PM.

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#14 Ossi Vaananen

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:15 PM

Most effed up thing I've read this week, and that's saying something. Poor kids have to live with that for the rest of their lives.
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#15 :D

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:52 AM


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#16 Lancaster

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:34 AM

So it's against the law to let someone underage go into a tanning salon. However, it's OK to sexually mutilate an infant and then fellate them, possibly passing on horrible diseases?

Yeah I am sure "God" or whomever the creator of mankind is has no problem with that.


Circumcision, as controversial as it is, is a recognized medical practice.

The whole religious part where it's pretty much pedophilia and such is a different subject altogether. Nobody is denying that part is messed up.
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#17 Dogbyte

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

I sincerely despise religion in all of its forms.


I hear ya.

This whole situation is disgusting and unneccesary.
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#18 Florence

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:13 AM

*insert video of George Costanza fainting at the bris*
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#19 CIA

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:48 AM

how is this not child abuse? friggin disgusting.
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#20 Wetcoaster

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:17 PM

So why is Prime Minster Herpes hitting kids after a medical procedure????? :rolleyes:
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#21 Losing With Pride

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:35 PM

Oh god absolutely brutal.
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#22 Dellins

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:59 PM

Why did I read Harper strikes. On the news - Religion logic u can not abort with u r wish but we can do this to u kid without his wish


You're not alone.
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#23 Jaimito

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:36 PM

Circumcision, as controversial as it is, is a recognized medical practice.


only when indicated such as phimosis, and you don't stop the bleed by sucking on it.

can't believe people do this, then again, not really.
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#24 MANGO

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:53 PM

If god didn't want you to have that he wouldn't have given it to you.
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#25 Lancaster

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:12 PM

only when indicated such as phimosis, and you don't stop the bleed by sucking on it.

can't believe people do this, then again, not really.


Well... even when they're not suffering from that condition. I still believe the benefits outweighs any negatives.

That being said, I clearly stated that I don't believe it should be done with some old dude with herpes sucking on the child's penis to "stop the bleeding".
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#26 Gross-Misconduct

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:20 PM

Even though I was already aware of this barbarism, I wanted to puke after reading the first paragraph and couldn't read anymore.
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#27 Jai604

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:54 PM

I'd been aware of these atrocities for a long time, but recently saw this in the news, so thought it would be an interesting read.

It's barbaric, and ridiculous that in this day and age these kinds of backward practices are still allowed to occur.
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#28 Bitter Melon

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:30 AM

Well... even when they're not suffering from that condition. I still believe the benefits outweighs any negatives.


I don't think anyone is arguing that all circumcision should be abolished, just that you shouldn't do it to babies. A decision like that should be made only if a medical issue is apparent. Otherwise it should only be done to consenting adults.
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#29 InTheCrease

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:45 AM

I read this as "Harper strikes two more infants after ritual circumcision" It's going to be a long day....

On topic though, why is that not done in a hospital, let alone sucking the blood orally? wtf?
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#30 Amish Rake Fighter

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

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Well... even when they're not suffering from that condition. I still believe the benefits outweighs any negatives.


The Canadian Paediatric Society has opposed routine circumcision for close to 20 years now
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