A 2-week-old infant from the center of the country was brought to Schneider Children's Medical Center due to an infection in the area of the circumcision.
The infant's parents said that the Mohel had performed oral suction of blood with his mouth, which raised suspicions that this was the cause of the herpes. The child was admitted to Pediatrics Department C headed by Dr. Irit Krause. Results of tests indicated herpes, requiring antiviral medication which must be administered for several months.
The herpes virus can cause skin infections but also herpes simplex, encephalitis and even death. In most cases, infection is spread through the vaginal canal during birth but also through any adult who spreads the virus orally. Because of the proximity of the events and the characteristics of the infection, it was surmised that the infection was caused by direct oral suction performed at the infant's circumcision.
Prof. Efraim Bilavsky, senior physician in Pediatrics C and a specialist in infectious diseases, noted that "direct oral suction is one of the Mitzvot connected to the Brit Milah, but because of such incidents, the Ministry of Health issued a regulation that it is possible to perform the Mitzvah also by utilizing a tube for indirect oral suction. We support this method in order to avoid the risk of serious infection which can end in a tragedy."