Contradicting a study by an Israeli hospital, an article in the Journal of Infection Control says that hospital mezuzos do not transmit viruses by people kissing them.
The new study, led by Dr. Monica Ghitan, a doctor in Boro Park’s Maimonides Medical Center and scheduled to be published within the next few weeks, was based on a survey of 100 of the hospital’s mezuzos.
“There were some microbes that grew, but none that can cause an illness,” Ghitan said.
A previous study on the issue, published in 2009 by a group of Israeli doctors who swabbed 70 mezuzos in Assaf Harofeh Hospital, found a “significant bacterial load” on them.
But Ghitan explained that the difference was that Assaf staff, fearing to ruin the mezuzah, avoided cleaning them. At Maimonides, the staff is instructed to clean mezuzos several times a day, along with the regular wipedown.
“And when the nurses wipe down the room they also clean the mezuzah,” Rabbi Nathan Friedman, a Maimonides chaplain, told the Daily News. “[Mezuzos] have been around for 4,000 years and we have yet to hear about someone getting sick.”