July 17, 2024

Nine Hospitalized in Pennsylvania’s Largest Raw Milk Outbreak in Decades

The Family Cow raw milk outbreak, Pennsylvania’s largest in decades, has already sickened 77 people in four states and hospitalized nine, but officials expect the case count to grow for weeks to come.

A Pennsylvania health department official said today that the outbreak is the largest raw milk outbreak the state has seen in more than two decades. It also ranks as one of the nation’s largest raw milk outbreaks in recent history. So far, 77 people in four states have been sickened after drinking raw milk tainted with Campylobacter produced by the Family Cow farm in Chambesrburg, Pa.

But Pennsylvania health officials expect that the number of cases will continue to increase for weeks to come, said Holli Senior, deputy press secretary.

“The time period will vary. While we know that raw milk typically has a shelf life of 14 or so days, we don’t know how many people have frozen the milk or made other products with it. Also, some people may not seek medical attention for many weeks following their onset of illness, and the process of culturing stool and reporting positive results can take a week or more. Hence, additional cases may be newly reported (despite having had onset in the past) over the next several weeks,” she said.

Case-patient ages range from 2 years to 74 years old. Roughly one third of those sickened are under 18. Onset of illness ranges from January 17 to February 1.

As of Februray 16, there are 67 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, five in Maryland, three in West Virginia and two in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, the case count by county is as follows:

Adams 1

Allegheny 1

Bucks 6

Chester 7  (increase by 1 from yesterday)

Cumberland 6

Dauphin 2

Delaware 6

Franklin 18

Lancaster 8

Montgomery 3

Northampton 1

Wyoming 1

York 7




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