HSV-1 infection causing genital infection/Congenital Disease of the Newborn

In the New York Orthodox Jewish communities, circumcision ritual involves removal of the foreskin, then the removal of the blood that accumulates there by the mohel (the performer of the ritual). They do this by sucking the blood from the wound by mouth.

This has led to the infection of four newborn boys with HSV-1, and then possibly causing Congenital Disease of the Newborn. Congenital Disease of the Newborn can lead to mental defects, blindness, deafness and even death. HSV-1 can infect the genitalia as well as the oral mucosa to cause this disease.

The biggest worry is that the Jewish community is protecting the identity of the mohels who performed the procedure. People who are not aware that HSV-1 can cause such a devastating  disease/sequale may be putting their newborn sons at risk for this infection.

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