The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been very busy as of late with a couple of deadly diseases showing up in states across the country.
Just days after researchers warned the population about the possibility of “zombie deer” or Chronic Waste Disease (CWD) spreading to humans, the CDC is sounding the alarm about a potentially deadly bacteria linked to raw milk.
At this time, 19 states have been placed on high alert after reports of a Brucella strain RB51 outbreak.
The current outbreak has been traced back to raw milk produced and distributed by Miller’s Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
So far, there’s only been one report of illness caused by the bacteria, but authorities are convinced that there are probably more sick individuals across the country.
The affected states include Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.
What is really concerning about this bacteria is it has been resistant to antibiotics and its symptoms are too similar to the common cold or flu. There are also limited testing options available, making brucellosis hard to diagnose.
The sudden rise in the trend of consuming raw milk can be attributed to the shift in people seeking more organic and locally-sourced foods.
There’s also the belief that unpasteurized milk contains more nutrients and flavor. Some even claim that it is better because heat-treated milk leads to bone and cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
Not only is there no evidence to support the supposed nutritional benefits of raw milk, it is really dangerous to consume it because of the dangerous pathogens it contains.
In 2016, raw milk was legalized in Virginia, but it wasn’t long after that the lawmakers who drank some of the dairy beverage became ill.
In addition to Brucellosis, drinking raw milk can lead to other food-borne diseases like listeriosis. The CDC reports that unpasteurized milk and cheese are linked to 96% of illnesses caused by contaminated dairy products.
According to CDC’s recent report, anyone who has consumed raw milk or its byproducts from Miller’s farm since 2016 may have been exposed to the potentially fatal bacteria, and it’s important that they get checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.
“People who last drank raw milk from this dairy more than six months ago and have had symptoms of brucellosis – but not been treated – should see their doctor immediately for testing that can determine if they are infected and need antibiotics to prevent long-term health problems caused by brucellosis,” the CDC added.
Symptoms of brucellosis usually show up between five days to six months after exposure. An infected person may experience sweating, fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, muscle and joint pains.
If left untreated, it could lead to more serious conditions, including arthritis, enlargement of the spleen or liver, heart problems, and even meningitis.
To make sure you and your family are protected, only buy dairy products with the word “pasteurized” on the label.