By Brianne Moore
A third baby has tested positive for Cronobacter sakazakii, the infection that led to the death of a 10-day-old infant in Lebanon, Mo. earlier this month. This most recent infection, found in Oklahoma, follows the report of a baby that was sickened with cronobacter in Illinois. The babies in Illinois and Oklahoma both recovered.
Initial reports suggested the death in Missouri might be linked to Enfamil Newborn infant formula that had been purchased in a local Walmart store. As a precaution, Walmart and several other retailers pulled the formula in question from their shelves pending further investigations. Mead Johnson Nutrition, the makers of Enfamil, has been working with the CDC and FDA to test the formula. According to a statement from Mead Johnson, no traces of cronobacter have been found.
Although the babies in Illinois and Oklahoma had been given infant formula, it’s not yet known whether the formula was the source of the infection, according to a CDC spokesperson. The baby in Oklahoma was not fed Enfamil, and the baby in Illinois reportedly was fed several different types of formula. The CDC reports that state health authorities are currently testing the formulas and the water they were mixed with to determine the source of the infection and to uncover any possible links between the three cases. So far, no direct connections have been found.
According to the CDC, between four and six cases of cronobacter are reported in a typical year. So far, 10 cases have been reported in 2011, which is still considered to be within the normal range. The CDC does not consider the recent infections to be a cause for alarm, and no widespread recall of any infant formula has been issued.