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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Cronobacter are bacteria that can live in dry places. The bacteria are usually found in powdered baby formula, powdered milk, and herbal teas. An infection can be serious if you have a weak immune system, such as from HIV or cancer. Older adults may also develop a serious infection. An infection can cause inflammation around the brain, blood poisoning, or an intestine infection.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have new or worsening signs or symptoms.
- Your signs or symptoms do not get better with treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Antibiotics are given to treat a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Prevent a Cronobacter infection:
- Wash your hands often. Wash your hands before you make a bottle with formula. Wash your hands after you cough or sneeze, use the bathroom, or change a baby's diaper. This can help prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Use hot water to make tea or powdered milk. Most herbal teas and powdered milk products are safe. You can help protect yourself more by mixing leaf tea or powdered milk with water that is hot enough to kill bacteria (158°F or 70°C). Boil the water in a separate container. Do not put a thermometer into the water, because it may have bacteria on it.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.