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Boy hospitalized with meningitis

A 7-year-old boy from a small community in central Israel was admitted in serious condition with meningitis to Assaf Harofeh Hospital over the weekend. Hospital officials say the condition of the boy, who is being treated with antibiotics, has improved. The Health Ministry’s Ramle district office said 51 people who came in contact with the boy, including six children from an after-school program, noon day-care, were given preventive antibiotics. Incidence of the more severe, bacterial, form of meningitis have declined in recent years in the wake of a 2009 law mandating the vaccination of babies with Prevnar against 13 strains of pneumococcus, which is also effective against other diseases. ‏(Dan Even‏)

Bill to limit smoking in soccer stadiums advances

The Knesset’s ministerial committee for legislation yesterday unanimously approved a bill limiting smoking at soccer stadiums, which MK Adi Kol ‏(Yesh Atid‏) submitted. The vote followed an appeal submitted by Health Minister Yael German, which led to a change in the ministers’ decision from last week. The bill does not ban smoking entirely but limits it to designated sections. “The idea came from a young soccer fan, who was fed up of smoke-filled crowded stadiums and turned to me regarding the matter,” said Kol. “Without smoke in the stands, Israeli soccer stadiums will become a little more pleasant for children to be in and as a place of entertainment for the whole family.” ‏(Jonathan Lis‏)

Emunah sues Chief Rabbinate to allow female kosher supervisors

Emunah, the National Religious Party’s women’s organization, has sued the Chief Rabbinate in a bid to compel the body to recognize the kosher supervision certificate offered for the first time by the group. The lawsuit filed last week calls on the Chief Rabbinate to allow the 16 female graduates of the group’s course in kosher supervision to work in their chosen profession. It also asks the court to compel the rabbinate to explain its policy. Several female kosher inspectors have been working for years; they were hired before the rabbinate required special training courses, in 2010. ‏(JTA‏)