Texas Cases Of Infant Botulism Linked To Honey Pacifiers From Mexico

After four infants were hospitalized for treatment, the Texas Department of State Health Services is warning parents not to give their children honey pacifiers.

While the four children were unrelated and reside in different parts of Texas, all of the babies had been given a pacifier containing honey that originated from Mexico.

The babies were hospitalized from mid-August to October and each diagnosed with infant botulism. Infant botulism is an illness "caused by a toxin that attacks the body's nerves and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death," the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement.

The honey could contain a bacteria that can produce the toxin connected to botulism. The toxin can form in the intestines of babies and eat the organ(s).

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children under 12 months do not eat honey as they lack enough types of bacteria to prevent the botulism bacteria from growing and developing into a toxin.

Symptoms of infant botulism include constipation, floppy movements and trouble controlling the head, a weak cry, drooping eyelids, and difficulty sucking or feeding. Treatment by a physician is necessary and hospitalization common.

While honey pacifiers are not a common item in the United States, they can be found in online and speciality stores. The Federal Drug Administration tweeted that the organization is working to identify the online retailer who sold the pacifiers in order to notify the retailer of the contamination.

FDA is working to identify online retailers that sell honey-filled pacifiers & ask that they discontinue sales.

— FDA FOOD (Ctr for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition) (@FDAfood) November 16, 2018

In 2016, 206 cases of botulism were confirmed by the CDC, 150 being infant botulism. No fatalities were recorded for any of the infant botulism cases.