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Month Old Baby Dies From Rare Bacteria

A Michigan couple was devastated after their newborn child passed away from a rare bacteria.

Kory and Jamie Shears had been trying for years to give their 5-year-old son C.J. a little brother or sister, WOOD reported. In June, they did exactly that when baby Axel was born.

“It was like, finally," Jamie said. "And then we were all excited about it."

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But later that month, Axel became sick, and the couple took the young boy to the emergency room.

“He started having mini-stroke and then continued to have seizure after seizure after seizure,” Kory said.

Nine days later, baby Axel passed away.

Axel died from Enterobacter sakazakii, meningitis and sepsis. Enterobacter sakazakii is a bacteria that causes a rare condition in infants less than 1-month-old.

Only four to six cases of Enterobacter sakazakii are reported in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kory and Jamie said they believe Axel got the bacteria from the powdered infant formula they were giving him, WOOD reports.

“For a child of his age -- at two weeks, a month -- there’s no other way to get it other than the formula,” Kory said.

But the Shears’ lawyer said a half-used can of Enfamil Gentlease and an unopened can in their posession tested negative for the bacteria. The sterilized water used to make Axel’s bottle tested negative, as well.

Mead Johnson spokesman Chris Perille said the company, which manufactures the formula, cooperated fully with the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Perille said dozens of cans from the same lot were tested, and all of them tested negative.

Powdered formula is vulnerable to the bacteria once the can is opened, WOOD reports. The couple is now raising awareness.

“We never have heard of this infection, ever,” Jamie said.

“Nobody has,” Kory added.

Sources: WOOD, CDC / Photo Credit: Shears Family via WOOD

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