Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today warned consumers, especially parents of infants, to immediately stop giving Baby's Bliss Gripe Water - Apple Flavored to children because it may be contaminated with a parasitic microorganism called Cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause intestinal infections. The product is labeled to "ease the gas and stomach discomfort often associated with colic, hiccups and teething."
Baby's Bliss Gripe Water - Apple Flavor is advertised and sold as a liquid herbal supplement on the Internet and at various retail establishments nationwide, including in California. Approximately 17,600 bottles of this product were distributed nationwide. This product is labeled and intended for use by infants as young as two weeks old and is distributed by MOM Enterprises Inc. of San Rafael, which is recalling the product. The product is packaged in 4 fluid ounce bottles and identified with Lot Code No. 26952V, expiration of 10/08.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed through laboratory analysis that unopened retail samples of the product were found contaminated with Cryptosporidium after investigating a confirmed illness in a 6-week-old infant in Minnesota who had ingested the product. No illnesses have been reported in California.
The most common symptom of infection is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms can include dehydration, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms generally begin two to 10 days after becoming infected with the parasite and generally last one to two weeks. While most people with healthy immune systems will recover without treatment, the infection could be serious or life-threatening for certain individuals. Infants, children and pregnant women are susceptible to dehydration, which can be life-threatening, resulting from diarrhea. Individuals with weakened immune systems are also at risk for a more serious and life-threatening form of illness.
Consumers in possession of Baby's Bliss Gripe Water - Apple Flavor should discard it. Parents of children who may have consumed the suspect product should consult their pediatrician or health care provider if they are concerned that their child has symptoms of Cryptosporidium infection.
If Cryptosporidium infection is confirmed, consumers should take extra precautions to prevent re-infection and/or spreading the disease. Since this parasite is extremely hearty and resistant to chlorine and iodine disinfectants, the best protection is to exercise good personal hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water. Parents should wash their hands after every diaper change and before eating and should wash the hands of infants and children before they eat.
Consumers who find Baby's Bliss Gripe Water - Apple Flavor for sale are encouraged to call the CDPH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232.