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Q&A: Recalled baby formula sold in Colorado

The FDA said four infants who got sick were diagnosed with Cronobacter sakazakii, a bacterial infection that is rare and extremely dangerous for babies.

DENVER — Abbott Nutrition expanded its baby formula recall after a second infant died. Several lots of the company’s baby formula are being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after five reports of infants getting sick, including the two reported deaths.

“My brother goes to my mom, ‘Stop feeding the baby, it’s his can,'” recalled Felisha Mota, a mother from Parker. “So I went into full panic mode, for sure.”

Mota was then alerted to the recall by her daughter’s father and stunned to see she purchased multiple cans from the retracted lot. She immediately threw it all away and began monitoring her son while searching for another formula. 

“This is scary,” Mota said “I mean, this is what we’re giving our babies. We’re expecting this formula or any type of formula to be safe. I definitely want parents to be aware of what was going on for sure. I can only imagine my panic, I can’t imagine what other parents are going through.”

The FDA said four of the infants that that got sick were diagnosed with Cronobacter sakazakii, a bacterial infection that is rare and especially dangerous for newborn infants. The fifth was diagnosed with salmonella.

9NEWS spoke to Dr. Hector de Leon, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente, to learn more about Cronobacter sakazakii.

RELATED: Abbott recalls more Similac formula after second baby dies

Q: What is Cronobacter sakazakii? 

de Leon: “It is a bacteria. It’s especially dangerous for infants and really small children, so the babies usually taking these formulas. The symptoms are fever, fatigue and just not wanting to eat, so just real loss of appetite. Those are things that can happen with other illnesses and so again, if you’ve been feeding your child with one of the recalled formulas, you’re going to want to take some steps to make sure you’re following up with your pediatrician.”

“It’s not that common to see a severe outcome, but it can lead to serious illness. Some of this bacteria can make their way into the blood stream and cause blood infections and sepsis. Or the bacteria can even go into the brain and cause a more serious, meningitis type of infection. So there are some pretty serious outcomes if we’re not watching for it.”

Q: Has the baby formula recall made it more difficult for parents to find formulas they need?

de Leon: “Yes. I mean there already has been supply chain problems like any other thing, and certain infant products have been part of that. Fortunately, there are other products out there. Even though it may not be the one that were working already, the brands that are effected, their supply will be corrected and we expect that to catch up.”

Q: Any additional advice for parents?

de Leon: “If you are using a formula, it’s good idea to go ahead and check. Make sure it’s not on that recall list, and stop giving that formula if it is on the recall list. Look for any symptoms including fever or feeling ill, and let your doctor know.”

Like most states, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) does not require cases of Cronobacter to be reported, but with this recent recall it has asked medical providers to start reporting cases. 

So far, no cases have been reported in the state.

Refunds are being offered for anyone that purchased the recalled formula. A website has been established for customers to see if their can is impacted.

RELATED: Recall alert: If your child has these pacifiers, stop using them immediately

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