The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture urged consumers to discard raw ilk purchased from the Elmer Z. and Martha B. King farm in Aaronsburg, Centre County, and from Cedar Hollow Farm in Mill Hall, Clinton County, yesterday.  The move came after milk sold by both dairies tested positive for potentially deadly pathogenic bacteria.

raw-milk3-featured.jpgAccording to a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture press release, samples taken from the King farm tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, and samples taken from Cedar Hollow Farm tested positive for Campylobacter.  The samples were taken on April 12.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of raw milk from these farms.  Anyone who experiences symptoms of listeriosis or campylobacteriosis should contact a health care provider.

Listeria Infection

The incubation period (time between ingestion and the onset of symptoms) for Listeria ranges from three to 70 days and averages 21 days.

A person with listeriosis may develop fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur. In immune-deficient individuals, Listeria can invade the central nervous system, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). Infected pregnant women ordinarily experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

Campylobacter Infection

The incubation period for Campylobacter infection is typically two to five days, but onset may occur as many as 10 days after ingestion.  The illness usually lasts no more than one week; however, severe cases may persist for up to three weeks, and roughly 25 percent of individuals experiences symptom relapse.  Children under the age of five and young adults aged 15-29 are the age groups most frequently affected.
Diarrhea is the most consistent and prominent manifestation of campylobacteriosis, and is often bloody.  Typical symptoms of Campylobacter infection also include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle pain.  Most cases are mild, do not require hospitalization, and may be self-limited; however, Campylobacter jejuni infection can be severe and life-threatening. 

Long-term consequences can sometimes result from a Campylobacter infection. Some people may develop a rare disease that affects the nerves of the body following campylobacteriosis.  This disease is called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).  Although rare, it is the most common cause of acute generalized paralysis in the Western world.  It is estimated that approximately one in every 1000 reported campylobacteriosis cases leads Guillain-Barré syndrome. As many as 40 percent of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in the U.S. occur following campylobacteriosis.