June Leffler Published

First Case Of Salmonella Reported in W.Va. Following Baby Formula Recall

New Census Bureau estimates show that babies of color now outnumber non-Hispanic white babies who are 12 months old or younger.

A baby in West Virginia now has Salmonella “likely” due to consuming a recently recalled baby formula, according to the state Bureau for Public Health.

Last week, federal health agencies issued warnings about widely used, powdered baby formulas.

The federal government is investigating after three babies were hospitalized and one died in the U.S. Those incidents stemmed from contaminated baby formulas produced by manufacturer Abbott in a Michigan facility.

The company immediately issued a recall of certain batches of its Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas. Parents can check these products’ labels to see if it’s been recalled. Products in question have an expiration date of April 2022.

“Parents and caregivers with infants on formula should immediately review the formula to ensure they are not using a recalled product,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “They should seek immediate medical care if their infant has consumed recalled formula and is experiencing signs and symptoms of Cronobacter or Salmonella infection: diarrhea, poor feeding, irritability, vomiting, or blood in their stool.”

Health officials say the formula can cause sepsis and meningitis infections, which are life threatening.

Healthcare providers and health departments are encouraged to report any confirmed cases of Cronobacter or Salmonella infections in babies who consumed a recalled product to the DHHR’s Office of Epidemiological and Preventive Services at 304-558-5358, extension 2.

Families who purchase infant formula with WIC benefits should reach out to their WIC clinic to return any open or unopened recalled products. WIC clinics must verify the products prior to replacing WIC benefits.

Correction: A previous version of this article said the state Bureau for Public Health had confirmed the Salmonella case was due to recalled baby formula. The state updated that statement, saying it is “likely” the baby’s infection came from recalled formula.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.