What parents need to know about deadly bacteria found in formula and breast pumps

A new report from the CDC found two infants were recently infected by the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii.

A new report from the CDC is warning parents about the dangers of certain bacteria that have been found in breast pumps. At least two infants in the U.S. were infected by the bacteria Cronobacter sazkazakii. Although the bacteria is rare, it can lead to “severe and often fatal meningitis and sepsis in young infants.”

“One case was likely transmitted by powdered formula prepared in the home, and the other through expressed milk contaminated by breast pump equipment,” explained the report.

The CDC describes Cronobacter sakazakii as a germ that is found naturally in the environment. Cronobacter can live in dry foods, like powdered infant formula, powdered milk and herbal teas. It has also been found in contaminated feeding items like breast pump equipment.

Infants less than two months old have weakened immune systems, making them especially susceptible to bacterial infections. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever and poor feeding
  • Excessive crying, or very low energy
  • Seizures

While Cronobacter sakazakii infections are most often found in infants, it can effect people of all ages, often via cuts and scrapes, or through the urinary tract.