This news article was published on December 22, 2011.
If you fed your baby Enfamil powdered formula, you should keep your eyes out for any signs of sickness.
Avery Cornett, a 10-day old baby from Missouri, has died from a deadly cronobacter infection after his parents fed him Enfamil Newborn. The parents bought the powdered baby formula from their local Wal-Mart store.
In response to the tragic death of this baby, Wal-Mart is in the process of voluntarily removing Enfamil Newborn formula (sold in 12.5 ounce cans – with the lot number of ZP1K7G) from over 3,000 stores nationwide.
The U.S. government has not ordered a recall of Enfamil, and according to various news outlets, the manufacturer said tests showed that this batch of infant formula was negative for the bacteria in question (cronobacter) before it was shipped. More tests are underway, but until additional tests indicate that Enfamil Newborn is safe, Wal-Mart is taking the precautionary step of keeping it off shelves.
There is an ongoing investigation into the death of young Avery Cornett and whether Enfamil Newborn is the source of his cronobacter infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the agencies that are currently testing the formula from the cronobacter bacteria.
Avery passed away on Sunday, after his parents took him to the hospital when he appeared lethargic and displaying signs of a stomach ache.
Cronobacter Infection and Infant Formula
According to , previous infant deaths related to the cronobacter infection have ties to powdered infant formula.
Cronobacter infection is a rare, but deadly infection that affects the central nervous system and blood stream. Only two or three cases are reported worldwide every year. Babies with weakened immune systems and premature babies are most likely to contract the infection, but it can affect anyone. Up to 80 percent of cronobacter cases are fatal. When babies survive, they often experience neurological problems.
The bacteria, (sometimes called Enterobacter sakazakii) is found in wheat, rice, herbs, spices, and other plant material. Most cases of Cronobacter sakazakii are the result of powdered infant formula that has been contaminated with the bacteria. This infection is rare, because formula is prepared at high temperatures, which often kills the bacteria. In some cases, however, the bacteria can survive even after the preparation process.
A cronobacter infection can turn into Meningitis and intestine-destroying gut infections. Sometimes, the infection can be treated with antibiotics, and other times, the infection is an antibiotic resistant strain.
This infection does not affect breastfed babies.
Signs of a cronobacter infection may include jaundice, an unstable body temperature, irritability, poor feeding, and grunting while breathing.
If You Have Enfamil Newborn . . .
The FDA and CDC recommends parents who are using Enfamil Newborn powdered formula with the lot number ZP1K7G to stop using the formula, or return it to the store where they bought it. To prevent infection, parents need to wash hands, keep all feeding equipment sterilized, and only prepare enough formula for one feeding.
For more information on Infant Formula, visit the FDA’s Website.
Update (January 3, 2011):
Earlier this week, the CDC reported that they did not find any connection between infant formula and the Cronobacter infection that killed two babies – Avery Cornett was one of them – and made two others sick. Parents can continue to use powdered infant formula.