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Unpasteurized milk linked to illnesses in state
By Jesse Garza of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Aug. 28, 2009
Unpasteurized milk has been linked to 13 confirmed cases of illness in southeastern Wisconsin, state officials announced Friday while warning residents in possession of such milk to discard it.
According to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the cases involve people who have tested positive for campylobacter jejuni, a bacterial infection that causes gastro-intestinal symptoms and fever and can lead to severe complications.
Other people in the households of those infected have been tested for the infection, however the results of those tests were not available Friday. Campylobacter can be passed between people or be contracted directly from contaminated food.
The onslaught of the illnesses was Aug. 14-20 and all people infected had consumed raw milk or had been in households where someone else consumed raw milk and became ill, according to the release.
Campylobacter jejuni bacteria cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and vomiting. Rarely, it can lead to temporary arthritis or paralysis, generally after the initial symptoms have disappeared.
Anyone who has these symptoms and has recently consumed unpasteurized milk or dairy products should contact their doctor. To prevent spreading campylobacter bacteria, people should follow proper hand-washing procedures and wash down bathroom and kitchen surfaces with an anti-bacterial agent.
Selling or distributing raw milk and raw milk products is illegal in Wisconsin, according to the release.
Regulators say it is illegal and unsafe because the milk can carry pathogens capable of making someone very ill or even killing them.