The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (AKDHSS) is warning about a potentially ongoing outbreak of Campylobacter infections associated with consuming raw milk distributed by a Kenai-based cow-share program.
So far, 18 people have contracted the infection, with two requiring hospitalization.
Dr. Brian Yablon with the State Health Departmet…
Dr. Yablon: “The way that people are accessing it is through kind of informal agreements, where people own part of a cow or herd, or where they’re sharing it with friends; it’s a very informal non-regulated arrangement. So because there’s no quality control, because we know that a cow’s udder is very close to the cow’s anus, that the tail could be contaminated, that the equipment could be contaminated, that it’s always a gamble, in that, there’s always a possibility of bacteria being in the raw milk. So it’s not typically considered safe to drink it, that’s why it can’t be sold in stores, and each year, there are several bacterial outbreaks, of bacterial illness traced to raw milk.”
Dr. Yablon told us that this strain of Campylobacter has not been previously identified in Alaska.