A baby was left on the verge of death after contracting meningitis from a pet cat.
Sparkle Anderson was just three weeks old when she contracted the illness from the cat’s saliva.
She spent a month in hospital recovering from the disease, which was believed to have been transmitted when the pet, named Chesney, licked her bottle.
Her mother, Chelsea-Ann Dodd, 21, said: “The doctors said she was only the 39th person in the world known to picked up that particular strain of meningitis.”
According to charity Meningitis Now, 10 per cent of bacterial meningitis cases end in death. It kills more UK children under the age of five than any other infectious disease.
The girl, now three, is said to have become fond of the cat, who lives with her grandmother.
“Chesney still lives with my mum and there's no danger to worry about any more from them being in contact. In fact they follow each other around all the time when we visit,“ said Ms Dodd, of Winsham Somerset.
“I've been told it's perfectly safe for Sparkle to spend time with Chesney, which is a relief because they've really become best friends,” she added.
“I didn't know very much about meningitis - I always thought the only thing I should be worried about was a rash. But there are lots of other symptoms too, and knowing them can make all the difference in helping to catch it early,” she said.Reuse content