Published Date: 2013-02-25 17:13:45
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Campylobacteriosis - USA (02): (AK) unpasteurized milk, alert
Archive Number: 20130225.1559143
CAMPYLOBACTERIOSIS - USA (02):(ALASKA) UNPASTEURIZED MILK, ALERT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 22 Feb 2013
Source: Alaska Public Health Alert Network [edited]
The purpose of this Health Advisory is to alert the public to new information about the recent and potentially ongoing outbreak of _Campylobacter_ infections associated with consuming raw milk distributed by a Kenai-based cow-share program.
To date, a total of 18 individuals have been identified in this outbreak. Some of these individuals have had recurrent illness. 2 required hospitalization. The Section of Epidemiology is planning to contact individuals suspected of receiving or consuming raw milk from the involved farm, and it is expected that the number of probable and confirmed cases will rise.
All probable and confirmed cases have been linked to consumption of raw milk from a farm on the Kenai Peninsula that operates a cow-share program. The milk is distributed to shareholders throughout the Kenai Peninsula, in Anchorage, and in Sitka. There is at least one secondary case of an infant who became ill after having close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case.
[Clusters of infection continue to be reported each year caused by the ingestion of raw milk. Its advocates vehemently argue regarding the value of the product but the science supporting its use is minimal at best. Regarding whether raw milk safety and its increased nutritional value has been "adequately documented by both the USDA and the FDA, the following is from the FDA in 2004, "Got Milk? Make Sure It's Pasteurized":
Pasteurization, since its adoption in the early 1900s, has been credited with dramatically reducing illness and death caused by contaminated milk. But today, some people are passing up pasteurized milk for what they claim is tastier and healthier "raw milk." Public health officials couldn't disagree more.
Drinking raw (untreated) milk or eating raw milk products is "like playing Russian roulette with your health," says John Sheehan, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Division of Dairy and Egg Safety. "We see a number of cases of foodborne illness every year related to the consumption of raw milk." More than 300 people in the USA got sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk in 2001, and nearly 200 became ill from these products in 2002, according to the CDC.
Raw milk may harbor a host of disease-causing organisms (pathogens), such as the bacteria _Campylobacter_, _E. coli_, _Listeria_, _Salmonella_, _Yersinia_, and _Brucella_. Common symptoms of foodborne illness from many of these types of bacteria include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, vomiting, and exhaustion. Most healthy people recover from foodborne illness within a short period of time, but others may have symptoms that are chronic, severe, or life-threatening.
People with weakened immune systems, such as elderly people, children, and those with certain diseases or conditions, are most at risk for severe infections from pathogens that may be present in raw milk. In pregnant women, _Listeria monocytogenes_-caused illness can result in miscarriage, fetal death, or illness or death of a newborn infant. _E. coli_ infection has been linked to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can cause kidney failure and death.
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/5Bmr.]