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Outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses traced to raw milk

At least four known cases ANCHORAGE - The state of Alaska Section of Epidemiology is investigating four recent cases of Campylobacter infection associated with drinking raw milk from an Alaska farm.

Although Alaska state regulations do not permit the sale of raw milk, owning shares of an animal to receive that animal's milk is permissible. Unlike milk supplied by commercial outlets, there is no testing or pasteurization required of milk before distribution from a cow-share program.

"Raw milk is an ideal substance for the proliferation of bacteria introduced through fecal contamination," said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, chief of the section. "Unpasteurized milk can be infected with a number of pathogens including Listeria, Salmonella, and as we've seen in this case, Campylobacter."

Anyone who has consumed raw milk and subsequently experienced acute gastrointestinal illness (i.e. diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, fever) since March 2011, is asked to contact the Section of Epidemiology at 907-269-8000.

An epidemiology bulletin containing a full report from the investigation is available at: http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/bltnidx.jsp.



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