Baby falls violently ill after salmonella 'from shopping trolley'

  • 04/10/2016
Logan lost 10 percent of his body weight in just three days (Facebook)
Logan lost 10 percent of his body weight in just three days (Facebook)

A mother in Australia is warning parents after she says her baby contracted salmonella from a shopping trolley.

Gold Coast resident Vivienne Wardrop went for a "quick shop", and strapped 10-month-old son Logan into the trolley.

Just 24 hours later, Logan was vomiting, had chronic diarrhoea and a fever. Ms Wardrop took him to the hospital the next day, where he was put into intensive care and stayed there for eight days.

"[He] ended up with a central line, as his veins were collapsing due to severe dehydration," she wrote on Facebook.

"He was in hospital for a total for 10 days and will still take another week or two to full recover."

She told Newshub she tried to stay strong through the whole ordeal.

"I tried not to let my mind go to 'what if the doctors can't get his sodium levels under control', as they kept rising due to chronic diarrhoea," she says.

"I tried to stay positive."

Logan lost 10 percent of his body weight in just three days. Doctors diagnosed him with adenovirus, rotavirus and salmonella poisoning. He also contracted meningitis due to the strain on his body.

Ms Wardrop says he is much better now, but is having periods of refusing his bottle.

"I am not sure if it is because he appears to have a sore throat or he has developed a temporary aversion due to being constantly made to try and drink bottles whilst really sick."

She says though she doesn't usually take her babies food shopping with her, when she does she uses her pram, which she will be sticking to. On this one-off occasion she had left the pram at home.

While there have been no formal tests to identify the shopping trolley as the source of Logan's illness, his mother says by process of elimination it is the most likely culprit.

She says his play centres at home are frequently wiped down, as well as his toys.

"He occasionally eats food but hadn't in the past week due to a reaction he had the previous week," she says.

"None of Logan's brothers are or had been sick in the weeks before, or since he got sick, and neither has his father or I."

As a surface that has likely been coughed on, sneezed on and clutched by shoppers who had just finished handling packages of raw chicken and meat, trolleys are a big source of germs. The fold-out child seat is routinely graced by the nappied bottoms of infants.

E. coli, staphylococcus, salmonella and influenza have been found to live on the trolley handles.

But University of Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles says bacteria are everywhere and Logan could have contracted salmonella from a number of sources.

"The time scale could certainly fit, but the child could have been infected days before," she says.

"The likely infection this child had was the salmonella, and although there are a few other things they picked up, they are things that the child could have had that weren't making him sick. Adenovirus and rotavirus - certainly rotavirus - are things that 90 percent of kids will get, and some children will keep it in their poo after they get infected."

While Dr Wiles says it is impossible to determine the source of the salmonella, it is always good practice to wash your hands and your child's hands after shopping.

She says when using disinfecting products we don't always do it in the right way.

"Often you have to really make a surface wet and then it has to remain that way for several minutes and then dry. That's not what people will do with these disinfectant wipes - they'll just give it a quick once-over."

Facts about salmonella: