When a 53-year-old man was hospitalized at the Hadassah Medical Center in unstable condition, suffering from sepsis, a severe systemic inflammatory response, an extensive set of tests revealed that he had been bitten by a microorganism called Rickettsia.

The man’s life was at risk. For about a week, he could not be moved at all since any slight movement could cause a radical slowing of his heart rhythm or cardiac arrest. He underwent a number of resuscitations. After about two weeks, however, his condition stabilized and he was able to be transferred from cardiac intensive care to an internal medicine unit. His recovery called for a long rehabilitation, but he was on his way back to health.