The US FDA is investigating an outbreak of serious illnesses linked to certain powdered infant formulas produced at Abbott Nutrition’s Sturgis, MI facility.
Four babies have been infected with Cronobacter sakazakii. All four babies were hospitalized, and two of the Cronobacter cases appear to have resulted in a baby’s death.
The FDA is warning consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum or EleCare powdered infant formulas “if the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2, and the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later.” Subsequently, other potentially tainted lots were identified and recalled.
This page will update as more information becomes known. If your baby has become sick with a Cronobacter infection after consuming formula, please contact us for a free consultation.
Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly known as Enterobacter sakazakii) is a germ that is found naturally in the environment. It usually causes no harm, but in some cases the germs can live and thrive in dry foods such as infant formula and powdered milk.
Infections are rare, but they can be very serious and even deadly in newborns. When very young babies get infected, they can develop a blood infection (sepsis) or even meningitis, which is an extremely dangerous swelling of the lingus surrounding the baby’s brain. Newborns born premature or who are immunocompromised are particularly susceptible to more serious complications of a Cronobactor infection.
There are more than 2,500 serotypes of Salmonella, but fewer than 100 cause infections in humans. One of these illness-causes strains is a serotype called Newport, and it is responsible for the Salmonella aspect of current outbreak. Salmonella poisoning can be so severe that it requires people to be hospitalized. Two people have been hospitalized in this outbreak so far.
Salmonella can even be fatal when the infection leaves the intestines and travels to the bloodstream or other parts of the body. It is also possible to experience long-term side effects, including joint pain known as reactive arthritis, which is also known as Reiter’s Syndrome. This can last for months or years and result in chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Reactive arthritis can also lead to eye irritation and painful urination. In rare cases, some types of Salmonella cause typhoid fever, which can be fatal.
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