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How to Protect Your Baby From a Cronobacter Infection | Port Orange Personal Injury Lawyer

How to Protect Your Baby From a Cronobacter Infection

A Cronobacter infection can cause a very rare, but serious illness in people of all ages, but it can be deadly in young infants.

It typically occurs in the first days or weeks of life in an infant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, there are about four to six cases of Cronobacter illness in infants reported each year, although reporting isn’t required. With recent increased awareness of this illness, CDC was informed of a total of 13 cases in 2011.

Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe blood infections or meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Babies younger than 2 months are most likely to develop meningitis if they are infected with Cronobacter bacteria. Those born prematurely and those with weakened immune systems also are at greater risk for this infection.

In some cases, Cronobacter bacteria has been found in powdered infant formula that had been contaminated in the factory. In other cases, Cronobacter bacteria might have contaminated the powdered infant formula after it was opened at home or elsewhere during preparation.

Manufacturers report it is not possible to eliminate all germs from powdered infant formula in the factory using current methods. Powdered infant formula can also be contaminated after the containers are opened.

Since the bacteria live in the environment, it’s likely there are also other sources of this rare disease.

This illness generally starts with a fever in infants. It usually includes crying, poor feeding or listlessness. Young infants who have these symptoms should be taken to a doctor.

To protect your infant, here are some things you can do:

  • Breastfeed your baby. This helps protect against many types of infections among infants. Almost no cases of Cronobacter infection have been reported among babies who were being exclusively breastfed.
  • If you do use baby formula, choose the liquid form. This is especially true if your infant is a newborn under two months. Liquid formulations of infant formula are made to be sterile and should not transmit Cronobacter infection.
  • If you use powdered infant formula, follow these steps. These are things you can do to protect your baby from Cronobacter infection and other infections. Practice good hygiene, mix the formula with water hot enough to kill germs, and safely store formula to prevent growth of Cronobacter bacteria and other germs. These are keys to keeping your baby healthy and safe.

Infants aren’t the only ones who are at risk for Cronobacter infections. The Cronobacter bacteria can also cause wound infections, diarrhea and urinary tract infections in people of all ages. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

For more on infant safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach child injury attorney.

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