The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced that a 6-month-old Adachi Ward boy died of infant botulism after his family gave him honey.
According to the metro government, it is the first death caused by infant botulism reported in Japan since 1986, when statistics started being kept.
The government warned that babies younger than 1 should not be given honey, after announcing on Friday that the boy died on March 30. Government officials said the boy had been having coughs since Feb. 16, and was taken to a hospital by ambulance on Feb. 20 after developing convulsions and suffering respiratory failure. He was diagnosed as having infant botulism on Feb. 28.
They said that the boy’s family had been giving him honey by mixing it into juice twice a day for about a month, and that the family told them they were not aware babies should not be given honey.
The bacteria Clostridium botulinum was found from an unsealed honey container kept at the boy’s house and in the boy’s stool, and a public health center confirmed that the boy’s death was caused by botulism poisoning.