April 23, 2024

Raw Milk May Have Sickened Three in Wisconsin with E. coli

Amy Wergin, the Public Health Nurse Manager of the Manitowoc County Health Department in Wisconsin confirmed to Food Poisoning Bulletin that three people are now ill in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In mid-April, two cases were reported with the same DNA fingerprint. Raw milk is suspected as being the source of the pathogenic bacteria.

Raw MilkThe three patients live in Manitowoc County. Two of the patients are related: a child and mother. The illnesses occurred in March. Public health officials are testing milk from the dairy that is suspected. No more information will be released until a link is proven.

E. coli O157:H7 is a Shiga toxin-producing bacteria that can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that can destroy the kidneys. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe stomach and abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, and a mild fever. The very young, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop complications from this infection. Most people contract this infection from raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk or cheese, or contaminated produce.

Raw milk is milk that has not been heated, or pasteurized, to kill pathogenic bacteria and viruses. This product has been linked to hundreds of food poisoning outbreaks in the past several decades. Most food safety experts recommend that consumers avoid this product.

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