A teenager from Sydney’s southwest has died after he contracted pneumococcal meningitis – despite being vaccinated against it – and Covid-19.
Osama Suduh, 15, died on Sunday night after being hospitalised for meningitis while he also tested positive for Covid.
Pneumococcal meningitis is a life-threatening infectious disease that causes inflammation of the layers that surround the brain and spinal cord.
A spokesman for Sydney Children’s Hospital confirmed the boy died of meningitis and not Covid-19.
“A 15-year-old boy who was being cared for in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit for pneumococcal meningitis has sadly passed away,” a SCH statement read.
“The patient was also Covid-positive, however this was not the reason for his admission and was not his cause of death.
“The patient was unvaccinated for Covid but was up-to-date with his routine childhood vaccinations.
“Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network extends our sincere condolences to his family at this heartbreaking time.”
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said on Monday the teen had received a childhood immunisation against pneumococcal meningitis but she believed a different strain had caused his death.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told Sunrise on Monday morning, “What an incredible tragedy it was for that young man to die last night.”
Before the Kingsgrove North High School student’s death, Dr Chant had said Osama’s family had given their permission for details about his case to be shared with the public.
“This has been cleared by his family. I can confirm that there is someone admitted to hospital that is 15 and that the cause of their admission, while they are Covid positive, is related to another health condition,” she said on Sunday.
Details of his condition came as NSW recorded 415 new local infections of Covid-19 and another four people died.
It is unclear exactly when Osama contracted Covid-19.
Osama had been put on life support and hundreds posted on social media with support for him.
Many said they hoped his life support would not be turned off and urged others to pray for his recovery.
“Please I’m urging you all to make sincere Dua for our young brother Osama 15 years old who’s currently on life support,” a post on the popular Request Dua Facebook page said.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Ya Allah help this family and all who know and love Osama. Remove this anguish and pain with calmness and ease.”
It comes after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced an additional seven people had died with Covid-19 on Monday as the state recorded 478 new cases, with Ms Berejiklian adding that it was a “disturbingly high” number.