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Babies stricken with herpes after Jewish circumcision

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Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have been contracted from the religious practice
Two deaths and two babies suffering brain damage have resulted
Department of health warns there being no safe way to perform the ritual that dates back more than 5,000 years

Two more infants have been infected with a deadly herpes virus in the last three months after undergoing a controversial religious oral circumcision in New York City.

The latest cases bring the count to 13 infants since 2000, two of which suffered brain damage and two died from the virus which can rapidly spread throughout its body.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the virus.

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