Israel has twice as many bubble children as Western countries, Haaretz reported.
The term refers to children who are born lacking white blood cells, which provide immunity to disease. Such children were once guarded from viruses, bacteria and fungus in plastic bubbles.
For unclear reasons, in Israel one child in 25,000 is born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) syndrome versus only one in 50,000 in the U.S. The disease generally effects couples who are related to each other.
Prof. Raz Somech of the pediatric department at Sheba Medical Center has pushed for the inclusion of SCID in newborn screening. Early detection protects newborns with the disease from infection until they can undergo bone marrow transplant therapy.