A type of bacteria that causes fatal meningitis and sepsis in young infants has been attributed to contaminated powdered infant formula or breast milk that was expressed using contaminated breast pump equipment.
According to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTwo children were diagnosed with meningitis associated with Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria.
The children were reportedly exposed in September 2021 and February 2022.
According to the CDC, genome sequencing linked the case to the 2021 open powdered formula. A 14-day-old infant was evaluated at the hospital for fever, irritability, and excessive crying. The CDC says the boy was treated with antibiotics for 21 days and made a full recovery.
The 2022 case involved a 20-day-old baby. He was already in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit because he was born prematurely when he became ill. The CDC said he needed respiratory support and suffered seizures. He died about two weeks later. The CDC reports that the child was primarily fed milk fortified with liquid human milk fortifier through an orogastric tube before becoming ill.
The CDC says the tests show the bacteria originated from parts of a breast pump that was used in the mother’s home. She reportedly cleaned the breast pump parts in a household sink, cleaned and assembled it while it was still damp.
CDC is advising caregivers and physicians to make sure they are aware of the risks of Cronobacter sakazakii and are following safe sanitation, preparation, and storage practices.