December 10, 2023

Five Raw Milk Outbreaks Highlight the Inherent Risks

Five raw milk outbreaks occurring at the same time this fall highlight the inherent risks of this product. Raw milk is unpasteurized, that is, it is not heat treated to kill dangerous pathogens such as E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Brucella, Campylobacter, and Cryptosporidium. The issue is that a cow's udders are close to the anus. And ruminant animals such as cows can harbor pathogens and not appear sick. The pathogens are excreted in feces and can easily contaminate the udders and milk. All together, these outbreaks have sickened at least 51 people. And since the multipliers for Salmonella and Campylobacter alone are around 30, that means there could be 1500 people sick. The Outbreaks These outbreaks occurred in September and October, 2023. Two of the outbreaks … [Read more...]

New Mexico State Fair Cryptosporidium Outbreak Sickens 18

A New Mexico State Fair Cryptosporidium outbreak has sickened at least 18 people, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The outbreak is "statewide" according to the press release. The Fair took place from September 7 to September 17, 2023. Illnesses are associated with exposure to livestock exhibited at a petting zoo at the fair. There are three patients with laboratory confirmed cryptosporidiosis infections, and an additional 15 clinically compatible cases who visited that petting zoo. The patients live in multiple counties accorded the state. There is no word on whether or not any of the patients were hospitalized, and we do not know the patient age range or illness onset dates. Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that is spread by contact with animals … [Read more...]

Healthy Harvest Farm Raw Milk Outbreak in MN Sickens at Least 8

A Healthy Harvest Farm raw milk outbreak in Minnesota has sickened at least eight people, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Eight people are sick with cryptosporidiosis and one patient has cryptosporidiosis and an E. coli O111:48 infection at the same time. Healthy Harvest Farm and Kitchen is located in Hillman, Minnesota. Officials are urging anyone who bought milk from that farm to discard it and not drink it. The milk may be labeled as "natural A2 milk," and consumers may not be aware that the milk is unpasteurized, or raw. The people who are sick with Cryptosporidium parvum, a parasite commonly found in cattle, have related subtypes, suggesting a common source. All of those who are ill with this pathogen started getting sick in early August. They all … [Read more...]

Two New Outbreaks on FDA CORE Investigation Table

There are two new outbreaks on the FDA CORE Outbreak Investigation Table. One is a Salmonella Newport outbreak, and the other is a Cryptosporidium outbreak. Four other outbreaks remain on the table. The new Salmonella Newport outbreak in a not yet identified food has sickened at least eight people. In that investigation, traceback has been initiated, but there is no recall, no onsite inspection, and no sample collection or analysis. The new Cryptosporidium outbreak in a not yet identified food has sickened at least 11 people. In that outbreak, traceback has been initiated. We don't know the states where ill people live, their age range, or if anyone has been hospitalized. The other outbreaks remain unchanged. In the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Soft Serve on the … [Read more...]

Study Confirms that Raw Milk Is Linked to Foodborne Illness

A new study has confirmed that raw milk is linked to foodborne illness. During the time period of 2013 to 2018, 75 outbreaks that caused 675 illnesses were linked to unpasteurized milk. Of these illnesses, almost half were among children and teenagers aged o to 19 years. Given that the consumption of raw milk is low in this country, with only about 1 to 2% of the adult population buying it, these numbers are shocking. The study points out that almost 80% of those outbreaks occurred in states where the sale of raw milk is allowed. Raw milk and raw milk products are a public health challenge in the United States. And laws that encourage availability of unpasteurized milk are associated with more illnesses and outbreaks. Raw milk can be contaminated with many different pathogens, … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Michigan Linked to Sick Calves

A cryptosporidium outbreak in Michigan is linked to a group of sick calves, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). A total of 12 people between the ages of 19 and 56 have been identified in this outbreak. One person has been confirmed with the infection, four people are probable cases, and there are seven suspect cases. The patients live in Livingston, Ingham, and Oakland counties in Michigan. The location of the calves was not identified in the outbreak notice. The patients got sick between November 15, 2022 and November 21, 2022. They experienced diarrhea and other symptoms of cryptosporidiosis, including nausea, vomiting,┬ástomach cramps or pain, dehydration, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms can last for several weeks. There is treatment … [Read more...]

How Do You Know You Have a Cryptosporidium Infection?

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes a diarrheal illness in humans. The parasite is hardy and has and outer shell that lets it survive in the environment for a long time. It is resistant to chlorine disinfection. It's most commonly spread by contaminated drinking water and recreational water. It is the leading cause of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. How do you know you have a Cryptosporidium infection? The most common symptom of a cryptosporidium infection is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms can include stomach cramps or pain, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after exposure to the parasite. However, some people who are infected will not have any symptoms. People are usually … [Read more...]

Study Finds Cow Manure Contaminates WI Wells and Causes Cryptosporidium

A new federal study released today has found that it's possible that cow manure contaminates wells in a county in Wisconsin and causes Cryptosporidium illnesses. The researchers looked at private wells in Kewaunee County, which is in northeastern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. The county has a population of about 20,000 people, but there are 100,000 head of cattle in the area. About 12,000 residents get their water from private wells. The study used data from a countrywide pathogen occurrence study that lasted for a year. The scientist put the numbers into a quantitative microbial risk assessment to predict the cases of acute gastrointestinal illness linked to those wells. The results found that private well contamination could cause more than 300 acute gastrointestinal illnesses per … [Read more...]

After Severe Weather, What Does a Boil Water Notice Mean?

Many people in different parts of the country have been, and will be, under a "boil water" notice after severe weather strikes. So what does a boil water notice mean? These advisories are often issued after a flood or when there is an issue with local water services, such as broken water mains or a sewage spill. Everyone should pay attention to these advisories and notices and follow them rigorously to protect health. Boil water notices are issued to protect the public from waterborne infectious agents that can range from parasites to E. coli and other pathogens to viruses. When a notice is issued, everyone should stop using water from the tap until a government agency says that the water is again safe to drink and use in cooking and cleaning. Heat treatments and filtration can … [Read more...]

Roux Farm Raw Milk Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak in Maine Sickens Four

A raw milk cryptosporidiosis outbreak in Maine is linked to raw milk produced at Roux Farm in Shapleigh. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement about this outbreak, which has sickened four people over the last two months. Anyone who consumed raw milk from Roux Farm that was produced before October 18, 2020 may be at elevated risk of contracting cryptosporidiosis.┬áThe raw milk was sold through several stores in Maine. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, vomiting, nausea, fever, and weight loss. The parasite can infect humans and animals. The symptoms of the infection typically start two to ten days after infection. Consuming raw dairy products is a risk factor for contracting this infection, … [Read more...]

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