Groundhog Day, Alaska Campylobacter-in-raw-milk version

Folks in Alaska must be undergoing their own kind of public health Groundhog Day – where the same day is relived with slight variations.

But unlike the Bill Murray movie, no matter how much the health types cajole, persuade, and act nice, things won’t change.

Ask Hugh Pennington.

Just days after a report implicated raw milk as the cause of 31 cases of campylobacteriosis, including four cases of reactive arthritis, in early 2013, bill.murray.groundhog.day_.storyAlaskan health profesionals had a paper published in the Journal of Food Protection documenting a 2011 outbreak of Campylobacter linked to … raw milk.

Snappy title, though: Sharing milk but not messages: Campylobacteriosis associated with consumption of raw milk from a cow-share program in Alaska, 2011.

Abstract below.

Alaska public and environmental health authorities investigated a cluster of campylobacteriosis cases among people who had consumed raw, unpasteurized milk obtained from a cow-share program in Alaska. Although raw milk is not permitted by law to be offered commercially, consumers can enter into cow-share agreements whereby they contribute funds for the upkeep of cows and in turn receive a share of the milk for their personal use. Laboratory testing of stool specimens collected from ill persons and from cows on the farm revealed an indistinguishable strain of Campylobacter. In this outbreak, numerous confirmed and suspected cases were not among cow shareholders; therefore, these individuals had not been advised of the potential health hazards associated with consumption of raw milk nor were they informed of the outbreak developments.

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2013, pp. 744-918 , pp. 744-747(4)

Castrodale, L.J.; Gerlach, R.F.; Xavier, C.M.; Smith, B.J.; Cooper, M.P.; McLaughlin, J.B.