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Raw milk connected to a dozen cases of infection in Utah

Posted at 11:33 AM, Oct 11, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A "cluster" of illnesses infecting more than ten people across Utah is reportedly associated with drinking raw milk, officials report.

The bulk of the infected individuals are in Salt Lake County where ten people have become infected with campylobacteriosis. Of the infected individuals, eight confirmed they drank raw milk before getting sick.

Officials with the Salt Lake County Health Department report four other people in other areas of Utah have also become contaminated with the bacteria after drinking raw milk.

Only one sick person had to be hospitalized because of the illness but they are now recovering at home, health officials explained.

The only other identifying information officials disclosed was that the 14 infected people across Utah range in age from two to 73 years old.

As for the source of the raw milk that caused the infection, officials say they are investigating where it came from.

Campylobacteriosis can cause up to a week of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, the bacteria can be serious and cause paralysis or death.

Raw milk refers to milk that is unpasteurized, which is a process that kills harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.

Health officials warn that drinking raw milk can be dangerous, especially for kids, pregnant women and older adults with health challenges. They advise that Utahns only drink and eat dairy products that have been pasteurized.

With a proper license, Utah dairy farms are allowed to sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to consumers. The Salt Lake County Health Department reports there are 16 licensed raw milk retailers in Utah, with three being in Salt Lake County.