E. coli petri dish
E. coli petri dishPhoto: Reuters

Eight babies from Kibbutz Nir Or located near Gaza were infected with the intestinal bacteria E. coli, four of which were hospitalized at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.

One baby is in serious condition, and two are suffering from kidney failure, according to reports.

The infection apparently originated from the petting zoo area of the Kibbutz. The Ministry of Health is currently performing tests and ordered to temporarily close the nursery where the children were infected.

E. coli (Escherichia coli) lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. Although most types of E. coli are harmless, some strains may cause severe anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death, as well as urinary tract infections or other infections.

While death as a result of the bacterial infection is very rare in Israel, there have been dozens of cases of babies being infected every year across the country.