Outbreak in Wyoming traced to raw milk

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The Wyoming Department of Health has confirmed that two children were hospitalized after drinking raw milk in September.

Five people, one adult, and four children, became ill after drinking raw, unpasteurized milk purchased through the Slow Food in the Tetons online market. The patients were infected with campylobacter and E. Coli bacteria. According to the health department, the patients live in Teton and Lincoln counties.

State investigators traced the illnesses to consuming raw milk or raw milk products. However, officials did not identify the specific seller.

In a news release, Slow Food in the Tetons Executive Director Scott Steen said the non-profit group decided to stop product sales from the implicated vendor after being made aware of the illnesses. He asked any consumers with the products still in their homes not to use them.

Kim Deti, public information officer with the Wyoming Department of Health, said the department sent an email survey to 61 households this past weekend about raw milk consumption, but only about a third responded.

Consumers can call Matthew Peterson of the Wyoming Public Health Division at 307-777-7007 or 307-214-9841 for questions or to report illnesses they believe could be related to raw milk and other raw milk products.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and most state and local health officials say unpasteurized dairy products are dangerous. Raw dairy products frequently harbor bacteria and viruses, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and hepatitis A.

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