18 sick from campylobacter linked to raw milk in Alaska
Posted: July 30th, 2011 - 12:56am by Doug Powell
The Anchorage Daily News reports that an outbreak of a serious gastrointestinal illness connected to consumption of raw milk from an Alaska dairy is ongoing, with seven confirmed cases and 11 more that are suspected, state health officials said in a bulletin published Thursday.
The outbreak connected to unpasteurized milk began in May and has continued into July, the report said.
The same rare strain of the Campylobacter pathogen was found in all seven cases confirmed in laboratory tests. And it also was confirmed in manure samples from the unnamed Mat-Su farm.
The lab report, combined with the fact everyone who got sick drank raw milk from the same dairy, "affirms the conclusion that this outbreak is due to consumption of Farm A raw dairy products," the state bulletin said.
But tests didn't find the pathogen in milk from the farm's bulk tanks.
That's not surprising, said state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin. Campylobacter jejuni "is notoriously difficult to culture from environmental specimens other than raw stool," Thursday's epidemiology bulletin said.