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Unpasteurized milk sold at a farmers market in Missoula County - Potential exposure to Coxiella burnetii

2 weeks ago

Montana, United States

The Missoula City-County Health Department is warning residents of the dangers of consuming unpasteurized, or “raw" milk, following the potential exposure to bacteria from unpasteurized milk sold at a farmers market in Missoula County. Milk that was recently sold at a local farmers market came from a herd where two cows tested positive for Coxiella burnetii, which is the bacteria that causes Q fever. While one of those cows had not yet produced milk, the other produced about 10% of the farmer’s yield.

The Environmental Health Director Shannon Therriault said they don’t know if the cow was shedding the bacteria at the time it was milked, or if that cow’s milk was sold at the farmers market, so they can’t say for sure whether anyone was exposed. However, what they do know is that unpasteurized milk can contain harmful bacteria that can make you and your loved ones sick.

Unpasteurized milk products have been linked to outbreaks of E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, brucella, listeria, and cryptosporidium. In the case of Q fever, symptoms can take two or three weeks to present following exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of Q fever include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, stomach pain, weight loss, and a non-productive cough.

If you are experiencing symptoms after consuming unpasteurized milk sold at a farmers market in Missoula County it is important to report it. It can help to detect & resolve outbreaks early and prevent others from being harmed, and it enables better surveillance. If symptoms persist seek medical attention.



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