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An eight-year-old boy died on Friday, December 30 after apparently contracting type b meningococcus, commonly known as the “predatory bacterium”.
The boy was rushed to the hospital with a high fever and convulsions. On the way to the hospital, his condition worsened, and the doctors at the medical center had no choice but to declare him dead after resuscitation failed.
Meningococcal B is a virulent bacterium found in the throat about 15% of children and adolescents in Israel. It is mostly harmless, but in some children it can enter the bloodstream and quickly lead to serious and even fatal illness, and sometimes death. Strain B is the most common in Israel and causes morbidity in about 70% of cases. Meningococcal B infection is transmitted from a carrier to another person through droplets of saliva.
Length of time with a carrier and constant contact affect the likelihood of infection, so most infections occur among family members or infants and children who are together in the same room. Most carriers of the bacterium are teenagers.
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