A state and local investigation into last September’s Campylobacter jejuni outbreak in Wisconsin ended where it began — at the Durand High School football team dinner, where raw milk from a local farm was served. After a three-month epidemiological, laboratory and environmental investigation by the Pepin County Health Department and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, blame for the outbreak was placed on a local farm that supplied milk for the football dinner. The laboratory and epidemiological investigations by the state and local agencies “determined that consumption of Farm A unpasteurized milk during the Thursday team dinner was associated with the occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni infections among team-affiliated individuals,” states the final, official report on the outbreak. The report does not identify the farm, but officials were earlier forced to provide it under Wisconsin open records laws to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The newspaper has reported that Farm A is owned by Roland and Diana Reed of the nearby town of Arkansas, just across the Chippewa River about nine miles west of Durand. The 38 people sickened in association with the outbreak all reported drinking the raw milk, and 71 percent of those only consumed the Reed’s unpasteurized milk, according to the report. Milk from the Reed’s bulk tank was tested 10 days after the event, and at that time it was negative for Campylobacter and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, but the report stated that those Sept. 24 samples were “not representative of milk that was served during the team dinner.” The investigation said bovine manure samples were a better method of detecting bacteria that were present in the milk at the time of the outbreak. From the nine manure samples taken, the outbreak-associated PFGE pattern was identified. Campylobacter infections commonly occur from eating and drinking contaminated food and water, including unpasteurized milk from infected cows, according to the report. It affects the intestinal tract and is often a cause of bacterial diarrheal illness. Common signs and symptoms of Campylobacter infection include diarrhea (often bloody), cramping, abdominal pain and fever, and, in rare instances, the infections are severe and the bacteria can be isolated from the bloodstream. The investigation also found that some illnesses among a small number of female volleyball team members, reported from Sept. 18-28, were not related to those who attended the football dinner. The illnesses the girl’s volleyball team experienced at about the same time as the football potluck did not involve diarrheal symptoms. During the same period, health officials also had to chase down a Pepin County “presumptively positive” case of Bacillus, also known as anthrax. However, it turned out to be another case of Campylobacter. About 50 people attended the Sept. 18 football dinner, which was held off-campus. It was a potluck-style event, which, in addition to raw milk, is said to have offered a variety of other drinks, including Kool-Aid. Those who were sickened by Campylobacter ranged in age from 14 to 49 and included 33 students and five coaches. Sixteen of the 38 went to doctors, and 10 were hospitalized. Temperatures as high as 105 degrees F, diarrhea, chills and sweats were the most commonly reported symptoms.