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Infant Contracts Herpes

The infection was likely contracted from the Mohel who performed the procedure with direct oral suction of blood, against Ministry of Health regulations
Date: 08.12.20 | Update: 29.12.20

A two-week-old infant was recently brought to Schneider Children's suffering from a herpes infection in the area of his circumcision. The parents reported that the Mohel used direct oral suction of the blood, which raised the suspicion that the infant contracted herpes as a result.

The infant was admitted to Pediatrics Department C headed by Dr. Irit Krause. Results of tests indicated herpes, requiring antiviral medication which must be administered until the child is 6-months-old.

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 by 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 the direct oral suction performed at the infant's circumcision. This is not the first case of infection due to oral suction.

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 the Mitzvah can also be performed by utilizing a tube for indirect oral suction. We support this regulation in order to avoid the risk of serious infection which can lead to a tragedy."

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