Published Date: 2012-04-14 20:36:52
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli EHEC - USA (09): (OR) O157, unpasteurized milk
Archive Number: 20120414.1101363
E. COLI EHEC - USA (09): (OREGON) O157, UNPASTEURIZED MILK
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 13 Apr 2012
Source: KTVZ [edited]
The Oregon Public Health Division, Department of Agriculture and several local health departments are investigating an outbreak of _E._ coli O157:H7 infections that have left 3 Portland-area children hospitalized, 2 with kidney failure, all of whom drank raw milk from the same small farm, officials said Friday, 13 Apr 2012.
3 of the 4 children with laboratory-confirmed infections have been hospitalized. All of the children consumed raw unpasteurized milk obtained from Foundation Farm in Clackamas County. The farm has voluntarily ceased its milk distribution.
The investigation is ongoing, officials said. Customers of this small farm's milk are being notified to discard their milk. Others who may have raw milk from this farm should not drink this milk and should dispose of the milk, they said.
2 of the hospitalized children, all of whom are under the age of 15, have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure [and a known complication of this infection - Mod. LL]. Other customers of this dairy are reporting recent diarrhea and other symptoms typical of _E. coli_ O157 infections.
"Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria that can make you very sick or kill you. Pasteurized milk has many health benefits. Raw milk is not any healthier than pasteurized milk and can carry illness-causing bacteria," said Katrina Hedberg, M.D., M.P.H., Oregon Public Health Division state epidemiologist.
Public health officials advise against drinking unpasteurized milk. While it is possible to get foodborne illnesses from many different foods, raw milk is one of the riskiest of all, according to the CDC. Milk from Foundation Farm and raw cow's milk in general is not allowed to be sold in retail stores in Oregon. The dairy only distributed to 48 households that were part of a herd-share, in which people contract to take ownership of a portion of a herd or individual animals.
State and local public health officials in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties are investigating these cases, including interviewing customers and family members of those infected. Officials are advising that any containers, surfaces or other items that may have come in contact with this milk or other products from this farm should be cleaned and sanitized with bleach or other disinfectants.
[This cluster has been reported a week after another cluster of enterohemorrhagic _E. coli_ O157:H7 infection from unpasteurized milk in Missouri. The Oregon cases appear to be related to a herd-share where the unpasteurized milk is not actually sold but rather the families own all or part of individual cows to get around legal restrictions in selling the unpasteurized milk itself.
_E. coli_ O157 is only one of many pathogens readily transmitted through the ingestion of unpasteurized milk or dairy products produced from it. Pasteurization will prevent this. - Mod. LL
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