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Cot death bug

A common bacterium, usually linked to stomach ulcers and heart disease, could cause cot death, according to research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The infection could be passed to babies through parents' saliva by kissing or licking a dummy or bottle.

This research adds to the long list of suspects that could case, or have links with, sudden infant death, including plastic mattresses, toxic fumes, thick duvets, low birth weight, secondary smoking, and drinking during the mother's pregnancy.

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths said it was confusing for parents as they felt guilty or vulnerable whenever a new report came out.

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