http://nypost.com/2017/03/08/new-cas...-circumcision/ New case of neonatal herpes caused by Jewish circumcision By Carl Campanile March 8, 2017 | 1:49pm | Updated A Jewish Infant during his circumcision ceremony. Shutterstock The New York City Health Department has reported a new case of neonatal herpes caused by the controversial ritual Jewish circumcision known as “metzitzah b’peh.” The ancient practice requires a mohel, the person performing the circumcision, to suck blood away from the incision of an infant’s penis. It has long been linked to neonatal herpes. Health officials sent out an alert to doctors Wednesday to be on the lookout for new cases. “When evaluating male infants with suggestive symptoms in the weeks following out-of-hospital circumcision, providers should inquire whether direct orogenital suction (metzitzah b’peh) was performed during circumcision and consider infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) or other oral pathogens,” Judith Schillinger and Susan Blank of the Health Department’s Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Disease Control said in the alert. The infant in the latest case was hospitalized for 14 days. Most cases of neonatal herpes are acquired during delivery, when a newborn passes through the birth canal of a woman who has a genital herpes infection. But in New York City a “substantial proportion” of male neonatal herpes cases are related to metzitzah b’pehn circumcision. The city has required neonatal testing for herpes since 2006. According to the Health Department, 24 cases of herpes were linked to circumcision since 2000. Two of the infants died and two others suffered brain damage. Last year, there were two cases. In 2015, there were three cases. Since 2006, 22 percent of all neonatal herpes causes were linked to ritual circumcision. Medical officials have tried to discourage and even stop the ritual, which they say unnecessarily endangers the health of infants with a “preventable infection.” But leaders of the ultra-Orthodox community have opposed any restrictions on the centuries-old ritual as an infringement on religious freedom. The Bloomberg administration required parents to sign a consent form to allow the practice. But Mayor de Blasio pledged to eliminate the consent form during his 2013 run for City Hall. Following negotiations with religious leaders, de Blasio and the city Board of Health scrapped the requirement in 2015. As part of the compromise, the Health Department distributes pamphlets to doctors, hospitals and parents (Make a Safe Bris for Your Baby) warning that “some babies can get herpes, which can even lead to death” following metzitzah b’peh. It also urges parents to talk to the baby’s doctor and to look out for little bumps and blisters around the infant’s genitals and buttocks following the circumcision. But health officials fretted that many parents haven’t seen the brochures. “Despite these efforts, parents of case-patients infected have not reported seeing the pamphlet or poster,” the alert said.