New York, Jewish leaders reach deal on circumcision health risks

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City has reached a tentative agreement with local rabbinical leaders regarding the Jewish circumcision ritual of direct oral suction in an effort to minimize health risks to infants, officials said on Tuesday. The agreement aims to address health dangers associated with the ritual metzitzah b’peh, or MBP, which has been linked to a form of herpes that can be extremely risky to babies, city officials said. In an MBP, a mohel who performs the circumcision uses oral suction to draw blood away from the wound on the infant’s penis. In 2012, the New York City Board of Health voted to require mohels to obtain such consent, in which parents acknowledged the risk of herpes infection, after officials identified 11 cases in which infant boys contracted herpes simplex virus after circumcisions believed to include oral suction.
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