Third infant reportedly sickened by rare bacteria
Investigators probing a rare infection for a possible link to powdered infant formula have come up empty.
December 28th, 2011
07:27 PM ET

Third infant reportedly sickened by rare bacteria

An Oklahoma infant is the third to be sickened by a rare bacteria that can come from baby formula, according to news reports Wednesday.

The baby is from Tulsa County and has fully recovered from Cronobacter sakazakii, CNN affiliate KYTV reported.

The child was fed a different brand of baby formula than Enfamil, the kind that has been linked in news reports to the death of 10-day-old Avery Cornett in Missouri, according to KYTV.

A newborn in Illinois was also sickened from the rare infection but is recovering, according to the state health officials.

A spokesman for Mead Johnson Nutrition, the company that makes Enfamil, told CNN Wednesday that FDA inspectors were investigating the company’s Michigan factory in the wake of the infections, but he characterized the probe as routine.

“In addition to their routine reviews, FDA inspectors do site visits as part of their follow-up on serious complaints for any food product - for example to collect samples and check batch records.  This is standard operating procedure for them, and we would expect that they have also had inspectors visit production facilities for various other products/items they are testing as part of this investigation,” Chris Perille said in an e-mail statement.

Health officials have been investigating the infections for a possible link to powdered infant formula, but state, federal and company tests have found no Cronobacter. The babies' surroundings - where they live, what they ate - are also being scrutinized.

“Because cronobacter (enterobacter sakazakii) is so commonly present throughout the environment, we expect they (FDA inspectors) are looking at a large number of other possible sources - water, clothing, bedding, preparation and use surfaces, etc. - so they have a lot of testing to complete and, of course, they want to be both thorough and accurate,” Perille said.

The Missouri case prompted retail giant Wal-Mart to pull all cans of the same size and lot number of baby formula from its shelves.

Wal-Mart pulls baby formula in wake of death

On Wednesday, Bloomberg quoted Kieran Jordan, a microbiologist at the Moorepark Food Research Centre of Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority, as saying that the perils of Cronobacter infections via baby formula have come to light only since the 1980s.

“Once the baby powder is rehydrated, it is a very rich environment for the bacteria to grow,” Jordan told Bloomberg.com.

Cronobacter can cause life-threatening infections in newborns and is fatal in nearly 40% of cases, according to the CDC. Infection survivors can be left with severe neurological problems.

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KYTV.

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Filed under: Consumer safety • U.S.
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT (PARACHUTE QUALITY CONTROL TESTER)

    that why mommy's milk is the best...
    .
    first the chineese tested their poisons on our pet's last year...
    .
    now they are testing thier poisons on our babies...
    .
    next they will poison us all and take over the world.. without a big fight..
    .
    cause we'll all be locked in the bathroom with explosive runny poop...

    December 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cassie

      Please, post next year when the world hasn't been taken over, and please, keep claiming NEXT YEAR IS THE YEAR the Chinese will take over. It amuses me. Get smart people, China isn't a threat. We're a threat to ourselves.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RUFFNUTT (PARACHUTE QUALITY CONTROL TESTER)

    this is just like red dawn... ecept not the russian red we thought..
    .
    it's china red dawn... soon you'll all be poisoned..

    December 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. long duck dong

    we no poison you guys we love americans.

    December 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. long duck dong

    after all you americans have big giant dick compared to our little weenee's.

    December 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wing dang dong

    keep shopping at retail giant Wal-Mart. all is safe you stupid americans.

    December 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ling long bing dong

    i like infant formula, it's yummy and taste like milk.

    December 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. walmart's champion of safety

    all is well, keep shooping at walmart.
    their is only 3 dead babies and everything happens in three,, so all is well....

    December 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontBeStupid

      Did you even read the article? It has nothing to do with Walmart.

      I know reality gets in the way of your little agenda and all, but you can at least try to be aware of the facts. It's literally the least you could do without remaining completely worthless.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MSG

    While MSG is still found in many products like infant formulas and pharmaceuticals, as far as I know, the banned substance doesn't bring on bacteria. (visit http://www.truthinlabeling.org for more)

    December 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    It's not WalMart for once, people.
    It's the Enfamil that was pulled...WalMart didn't manufacture it, and it doesn't come from China.

    Good Lord, people!

    December 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • PAPilot

      Yes, it is made in China.

      December 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontBeStupid

      Do you have any evidence that it's Enfamil?

      According to the article, Enfamil had nothing to do with at least 1/3 of the cases.. Since you know facts that haven't been released to the public, please enlighten us.

      December 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Guys, it is the fact that it was FORMULA. Not the brand or where it was bought. Formula fed babies have a higher death rate from infection period. This bacteria is common & babies have weak immune systems. Breast milk has immune factors in it from the mother to help keep the baby alive until the baby 's system gets stronger. Formula does not.

      December 29, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. Truthinlabeling.org

    Over 3 million American's screaming "Big-Pharma isn't telling us what they are putting in our meds! No more than Big-Fooda is telling us what they put in infant formulas." Who are they screaming at? The congress. This website has raised over 19 million dollars for lobbying congress into hearing them out. Lobbying congress to get your way...it works. Donate a dollar while you are there. Thanx

    December 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JonDie

    It's really sad when a young kid get hurt. But the corporations do have to make their massive profits. Profits before people, that's the American way.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PAPilot

    All of this formula is made in China by our enemies. They're just testing different ways they can quickly infect millions of Americans quickly by tampering with our food supply.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Nuh uh.
    No, they don't.
    They get it from milking Panda Bears, didn't you know?

    And you call yourself CNN'S Journalist Craig Johnson!

    December 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Belarius Marek

    They don't milk cats, they eat em. It's the snakes the milk. Silly.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Truthinlabeling.org

    @JonDie. Not to mention international borders falling for profit but not for people.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
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