Baby died after contracting deadly bacteria from a BREAST PUMP

Baby died after contracting deadly bacterial infection from a BREAST PUMP that wasn’t dried properly after being washed in household sink, CDC reveals

  • Death of a baby was linked to a contaminated breast-feeding pump
  • Device was cleaned in household sink and assembled while still moist
  • READ MORE: Reckitt announces recall of baby formula over bacteria fears

US health officials are warning about the importance of sterilizing baby feeding equipment after an infant died from a rare infection linked to a breast pump.

The unnamed child, a premature boy, contracted the Cronobacter sakazakii infection when he was little over two weeks old and began to fall severely ill.

He had been fed a mix of breastmilk and liquid human milk fortifier through a tube.

An investigation linked the infection to bacteria isolated from a breast pump used at home. The CDC probe found that the home breast pump was cleaned in a household sink, sanitized and sometimes assembled while still moist.

A report showed that the premature boy was diagnosed with a Cronobacter sakazakii infection when he was 20 days old (Stock image)

Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria are common in the environment and can live on surfaces in homes such as the kitchen counter and sinks, as well as in water.

But they can prove deadly to infants who catch the infection.

They are the same bacteria that sparked a nationwide recall of powdered baby formula last year. 

And this month Reckitt was forced to recall its baby formula over concerns of contamination with the same bacteria. 

Reckitt announces recall of 145,000 cans of baby formula 


Reckitt, based in the UK, has voluntarily recalled cans manufactured between August and September and sold across the US, Guam and Puerto Rico because of possible cross-contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii. 

In the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medics said the boy was born at nearly 31 weeks via C-section.

Doctors decided on the early delivery because the infant was breeched — lying feet first in the womb — and the mother had worsening pre-eclampsia.

Born in February 2022, the youngster was in hospital but stable at the time of that the boy’s sickness began.

He suffered a low heart rate, pauses breathing, fever and needed help to breathe. On the second day of the illness, the child developed seizures.

Testing on breastmilk and the liquid human milk fortified through a tube that the baby received came back negative for bacteria, as did a breast-feeding pump in hospital.

But when testing was carried out on the breastfeeding pump used at home this revealed the bacteria.

It was not revealed where he was born in the US. 

Dr Julia Haston, a CDC expert in pediatric infectious diseases who led the report, said the case underscores that cronobacter bacteria are found widely in the environment and can lead to severe and deadly infections.

‘There are steps that people can take to prevent infections,’ she said, including thoroughly washing, sanitizing and drying hands, equipment and all surfaces before feeding a baby.

‘Because of the widespread presence of in the environment, caregivers of infants should follow safe hygiene, preparation, and storage practices, and learn steps to protect infants from infection,’ she said.

‘Clinicians providing care for infants aged less than two months or those who were born prematurely or are immunosuppressed should explain the risks of infection to caregivers, especially if the infant is fed with powdered formula or expressed milk.’

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