Baby boys got sick after the ultra-Orthodox practice
By Reuven Blau / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Two Brooklyn infants have contracted herpes through a controversial religious circumcision ritual in the past three months, according to the city’s Health Department.
The unidentified baby boys became sick after the centuries-old, ultra-Orthodox ritual associated with the bris known as metzizah b’peh.
Under the practice, the rabbi or mohel removes blood from the wound on the baby’s penis with his mouth — a practice city Health Department officials have slammed, saying it carries “inherent risks” for babies.
The Bloomberg administration has moved to require mohels who perform the ritual to provide parents with a document informing them of the health risks involved. The parents must then sign a consent form.
But several influential religious Jewish organizations have sued, arguing the policy violates the First Amendment.
In January, a federal judge ruled against the group’s initial legal maneuver to block the new city policy.
Continue reading Jewish circumcision leave 2 infants in New York with Herpes
New Shingles vaccine OK’d
by Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press
Courtesy and Thanks: Toronto Sun News, Wednesday, August 22, 2008
Health Canada has approved a vaccine that helps prevent painful shingles outbreaks in older people who had chinkenpox earlier in life. The vaccine, which has been available in United States since about mid- 2006, boosts immunity to the vericella Zoster virus- the bug that causes chickenpox- which lives in latent form in the nervous system of people who have had the disease.
Reactivation occurs later in life in about 15% to 20% of people who had chickenpox, according to Public Health Agency of Canada’s website. The reactivation produces a painful rash that typically lasts a couple of weeks; it’s a condition known by the names shingles, herpes zoster or just zoster. In some cases the pain endures for months and even years after the rash subsides, a condition know as post-herpetic neuralgia. It (shingles) occurs in all age groups but it increases in incidence slowly and the curve starts to increase more rapidly some where around (age) 50,” explained Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital. “And then the increase gets steeper and steeper as you get older and older.”
Continue reading Herpes Zoster Vaccine