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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a Cronobacter infection?
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.
How is a Cronobacter infection diagnosed and treated?
Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. A Cronobacter infection often causes a fever, stomach pain, or vomiting. You may also develop a wound infection or urinary tract infection (UTI). Your healthcare provider will test a sample of blood to check for infection. The test will show if the bacteria are Cronobacter. Cronobacter is not treated if you are only colonized. This means the bacteria live in your body but are not causing health problems. You may be given antibiotics to treat a Cronobacter infection. You may also need antibiotics to treat a UTI or a wound infection.
What can I do to prevent a Cronobacter infection?
- Wash your hands often. Wash your hands several times each day. Wash after you use the bathroom, change a child's diaper, and before you prepare or eat food. Use soap and water every time. Rub your soapy hands together, lacing your fingers. Wash the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers. Use the fingers of one hand to scrub under the fingernails of the other hand. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with warm, running water for several seconds. Then dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. Use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- 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.
When should I call my doctor?
- 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.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.
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