June 15, 2024

Brucella Outbreak in Texas From Raw Milk

A Texas resident has been diagnosed with brucellosis and has been hospitalized after consuming raw milk from K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas in Wise County.  An investigation by Texas Department of State Health Services has determined that milk from that facility is “the most probable source of the infection.” K-Bar Dairy is a licensed raw milk dairy. Officials are investigating additional illnesses that may be connected to this product.

Milk splashes

That milk and other dairy products sold by that facility are being recalled. Anyone who has consumed milk or other products from that dairy since June 1 is at high risk of a Brucella infection. The press release states that, “People who consumed milk from this dairy but have no symptoms should discuss the issue with their provider and monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms.”

Symptoms of a Brucella infection include fever, sweats, malaise, loss of appetite, headache, muscle and joint pain, back pain, and fatigue. If the infection is untreated, patients can develop recurrent fever, arthritis, inflammation of the heart, neurologic symptoms, chronic fatigue, swelling of the liver and spleen, and depression. Pregnant women may suffer miscarriage, fetal death, and premature delivery if they contract this infection. Infants can contract this illness through breastfeeding or can get it during delivery from exposure to blood or urine.

There is treatment for this illness. Combination antibiotic therapy is effective, but recovery can take months, depending on the severity of the illness. The death rate for this infection is about 2%.

The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends that people only eat pasteurized dairy products. This is very important especially for anyone who is in a high risk group: children under the age of 5, pregnant women, adults over the age of 65, and those with chronic health problems and weakened immune systems. Raw milk can carry Brucella, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter bacteria.

Officials are warning health care providers to look out for this type of infection. The illness is diagnosed with blood or bone marrow samples. Any patient presenting with these symptoms should be asked about risk factors for Brucellosis.

The press release states, “A key question affecting the level of suspicion of Brucellosis in this scenario is the patient’s consumption of raw milk or raw milk products from K-Bar Dairy in Paradise Texas in Wise County since June 1, 2017. These individuals are considered to be at high risk of contracting brucellosis. Consumers are advised not to consume any raw milk or raw milk products from K-Bar Dairy that are still in their possession and to discard it.”

The dairy is cooperating fully with the investigation and is contacting customers to tell them to discard any milk on hand. The dairy doesn’t have any record of all of its customers, so the state is alerting the public.

Officials do not know how long the bacteria may have been present in the raw milk. Testing is ongoing. The time span officials are studying is from January to June 2017.

If you or someone you know consumed raw milk from the K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas and has been exhibiting any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Prompt treatment is crucial for a good outcome.

Pritzker Hageman law firm helps people sickened by food contaminated with Brucella and other pathogenic bacteria get answers, compensation and justice. We protect our client’s legal rights. Our lawyers represent patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against dairies, grocery stores, food producers, shippers, restaurants, retailers, and schools. Noted attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome because of an E. coli infection.

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