Sunday, January 11, 2015

Landmark Program Uncovers False-Positive In Neonatal Herpes Case (Why does New York City refuse to do DNA testing?)

Yated Why would a mistaken diagnosis in a case of reported neonatal herpes make headlines anywhere - especially if no adverse health consequences resulted from the error? Yet a false positive diagnosis of this nature, recently reported by the Rockland County Department of Health, has stirred profound interest in the Orthodox community.
That’s because the erroneous diagnosis involved a Jewish baby boy who had undergone bris milah with metzitzah b’peh and was brought to a NYC hospital with a respiratory infection. He was immediately tested for neonatal herpes, although no symptoms of the virus were present. To the parents’ surprise, the test was positive.

Weeks later, to the family’s relief, those findings were discredited in a most unusual way - through a landmark DNA testing program in existence for only two years. The baby’s long hospitalization and treatment for herpes turned out to be totally unnecessary. 

This strange turn of events has raised questions about other City-reported cases of herpes. In view of the DOH’s relentless efforts to cast mbp as deadly to babies, the discovery that the “positive” was a false-positive has fueled suspicions that other reported cases of HSV-1 infections following bris milah might have also been false-positive.

Perhaps even more newsworthy, the findings of a misdiagnosis also revealed the existence of the trailblazing DNA testing program quietly launched in Rockland County in 2013 to track the source of herpes infection in infants. 

This extraordinary program was formed by the Rockland County Department of Health working in close cooperation with the Orthodox Jewish community.

The DNA program - the very first of its kind anywhere - can track the source of HSV-1 by comparing samples of the virus in the afflicted infant with samples of DNA from the mohel, the baby’s parents and the main caregivers. The testing is done in the State’s Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany, the one facility in New York - and perhaps in the country - that performs DNA testing of this nature. [...]

1 comment :

  1. To start the discussion, I will note that this was posted two days ago, and no one has commented yet.

    I wonder where all those posters, who regularly bash "metzitza b'peh", are hiding out. Where are these guys now???

    Maybe they're flat on their face, after the rug was pulled out from under their feet...


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