Two cases of young children being infected with E. coli in Michigan is having health officials remind residents of the potential health risks associated with consuming unpasteurized milk or products.
The cases were reported in Oakland and Wayne Counties, and both involved children who consumed raw milk prior to their illnesses, according to a press release.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Servicers, raw milk has been known to be a source of E. coli.
Raw milk is unavailable for sale in retail stores in Michigan, but herd or cow share programs exist in the state where members own part of a cow and in return receive raw milk. These programs are not inspected or regulated under Michigan dairy laws, says the release.
“The public should be aware that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products have not been heat treated and, therefore, pose a potentially serious risk to human health,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.
According to the release, symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Most people get better within one week, but serious complications can develop. Young children are more likely to develop severe illness and a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS. A person with HUS will appear pale, tired, and have a decreased frequency of urination as their kidneys may stop working.
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