The West

Killer illness hit without warning
Zebaztion Butcher. Picture: Seven News

The distraught parents of a little boy who died last week after contracting meningococcal have urged parents to watch out for symptoms of the disease.

Pre-primary student Zebaztion Butcher, four, started feeling sick last Wednesday at Wirrabirra Primary School in Gosnells.

By Thursday morning, he was in the grips of the disease with a soaring temperature and frequent vomiting.

His parents rushed him to hospital but doctors could not stop him becoming the first person to die from the disease in WA this year.

Zebaztion's case was the fifth reported meningococcal infection in the State this year.

His mother Kellie Barradell said parents needed to be constantly on the lookout for the symptoms such as a fever, headache, sensitivity to light and a rash.

"I just hope that you all pay attention and get your children up to the hospital as soon as possible because it's so heartbreaking," she said.

"His eyes were just like bulging out of his head. I just was really scared.

"It was so heartbreaking to see that little boy the way he was."

Speaking to Seven News, father Walter Butcher could not contain his emotions over losing his son, who was described as an active boy who loved football and wrestling.

"He was so healthy and then one minute he was just gone," he said.

"Please if they get a headache, if they vomit, if they get symptoms - please rush to the hospital.

"It was just so sudden.

"What can you say? What can you do?"

Students and staff at Wirrabirra Primary School were offered counselling in the wake of Zebaztion's death and parents were warned to look out for symptoms.

Money tins have been placed at the Southern River Tavern in Gosnells to help raise funds for his funeral service.

The West Australian

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