Raw milk drinkers in 19 states at risk of rare, dangerous infectious diseases

If the masonry explosion did not cause you to question the year, the Health Warning Center of Disease Control and Prevention Centers may double the calendar: unpasteurized milk may have made people sick in 19 states.

Yes, as the country is grappling with five – count -, five – outbreaks of a vaccine-preventable disease, the CDC warns that another infectious disease from the past poses a risk to widely-used dairy drinkers – at least those who set the standard Tartar is a decades-old process for removing deadly pathogens from the milk.

The infectious disease is brucellosis. It is a difficult to define febrile illness caused by Gram-negative Brucella Bacteria that infect a variety of animals and occasionally unfortunate humans. There are four types that pose a particular risk to humans: Brucella suisfound in pigs; Brucella melitensisfound in sheep and goats; Brucella Canisof dogs; and – the one who is at the center of this current health alert –Brucella abortuswhich is borne by cattle. Usually, the disease occurs in developing countries. However, in the US, meat packers, hunters, veterinarians, farmers and careless microbiologists are at risk – as are those who consume unpasteurised dairy products.

The CDC reports that a Brucella abortus Strain RB51 was found in unpasteurized milk sold by Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. RB51 is a weakened strain that veterinarians use to vaccinate cows for more dangerous strains that cause abortions in the animals (as the name implies). The vaccine does not cause any symptoms in non-pregnant cows, but in rare cases RB51 may slip smoothly into the milk and cause serious illness in humans, avoiding pasteurization. It is also resistant to a first-line antibiotic used to treat brucellosis.

Health officials identified a cow that had spilled RB51 on the farm in Pennsylvania and removed it from the milking herd. This was not, however, until the farm's milk reached an unknown number of consumers in 19 states. These states include: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.

So far, a case has been confirmed in New York. But brucellosis is crazy to diagnose, especially if you do not know you are facing it.

Insidious infection

After exposure, symptoms can occur within a week or up to several months. It starts like the flu, with fever, chills, body aches, headaches and sometimes diarrhea. In the further course it can come to fever peaks from 104 degrees Fahrenheit to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, this leads to a scattering of symptoms – acute or chronic, localized or systemic.

About half of brucellosis cases are acute infections with obvious symptoms. The other half of those affected experience a slower manifestation of the symptoms that can lead to a chronic infection with fever that comes and goes for years. The infection can affect multiple systems in the body or be localized to specific tissues or organs. It has been associated with skin problems such as rashes and abscesses. It is also associated with bone and joint problems, especially inflammation and low back pain (spinal osteomyelitis) and arthritis. Inflammation of the kidney, prostate, testes, liver and / or gastrointestinal tract may occur. In rare cases, it can affect the heart and central nervous system, which can lead to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, all of which can be fatal.

The most definitive way to diagnose brucellosis is to try to grow bacteria from blood, bone marrow, cerebrospinal fluid or wounds. However, it may take up to four weeks for it to appear in laboratory cultures. The treatment typically includes weeks of antibiotic treatments.

The patrons of Millers Biodiversity Farm may have been suspended at any time since January 2016. The CDC warns that anyone who has drunk milk from the farm for the last six months is at risk of contracting the infection. People who have drunk milk more than six months ago and have symptoms that have not yet been tested should contact their doctor first, the agency warns.

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