4 babies in Texas were hospitalized in between mid-August and October of this year with an exceptionally unusual condition, according to a Nov. 16 declaration from the Texas Department of State Health Solutions. The condition? Botulism. And the presumed perpetrator? Honey-dipped pacifiers.

Botulism is a condition brought on by a toxic substance that assaults the body’s nerves, resulting in muscle weak point, according to the Centers for Illness Control and Avoidance If the contaminant assaults the nerves that send out signals to muscles associated with breathing, it can result in breathing issues that can be fatal, the CDC states. [Tiny & Nasty: Images of Things That Make Us Sick]

Botulinum contaminants are produced by numerous various types of germs.

Bacterial spores of among these types, called Clostridium botulinum, can be discovered in honey, according to a Nov. 16 declaration from the U.S. Fda (FDA). If these spores are consumed by a baby, they can grow in the infant’s intestinal tracts and launch the fatal contaminants. For this factor, the FDA, together with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, do not suggest feeding honey to babies more youthful than 1 the declaration states.

As soon as infants reach 1 year of age, nevertheless, other kinds of germs exist in their gut, and these germs can avoid botulism germs from producing contaminants, the Texas Department of State Health Solutions stated. This suggests that it’s much safer to provide honey to infants after age 1.

The 4 Texas babies had actually all utilized honey-coated pacifiers bought from Mexico, according to the FDA declaration. Nevertheless, such items are likewise offered online. The FDA is suggesting that online merchants eliminate these items and is likewise suggesting that caretakers dispose of any pacifiers that are filled with or dipped in honey, the declaration stated.

Signs of botulism can consist of double vision, sagging eyelids, problem swallowing or breathing, slurred speech and muscle weak point. In babies, signs can consist of a weak cry, sleepiness, irregularity, bad consuming and a floppy look, according to the CDC.

Today, botulism is treated with antitoxins, the advancement of which has actually significantly enhanced the diagnosis for the condition, the CDC states. Undoubtedly, 50 years earlier, the illness was much deadlier, according to the CDC: 50 out of 100 individuals with botulism would pass away. Now, less than 5 out of 100 individuals with botulism die.

Still, it’s very crucial to look for treatment right away if botulism is presumed, the CDC states. That’s because, while antitoxins can stop the botulinum contaminant from triggering more damage in the body, they can not reverse damage that is currently done.

Initially released on Live Science