What kinds of illness can Cronobacter cause?

Cronobacter illness is very rare, but it is often deadly in young infants. It usually occurs in the first days or weeks of life. Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe blood infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). Cronobacter meningitis occurs most often among infants 2 months of age or younger. Infants born prematurely and those with weakened immune systems are also at increased risk for serious Cronobacter infections. In infants, the illness generally starts with fever. It usually includes poor feeding, crying, or listlessness. Young infants with these symptoms should be taken to a doctor.

Cronobacter bacteria can also cause wound infections and urinary tract infections in people of all ages. The elderly and people with weakened immune systems (for example, people being treated with immune-suppressing drugs for cancer, organ transplants, or other illnesses, or those with HIV infection or genetic conditions that affect the immune system) are most at risk.

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