Health | Local | Vital Signs

Health Officials Warn Against Drinking Raw Milk

OPB | May 7, 2012 8:52 a.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:24 a.m. | Portland, OR

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A mother, whose two-year-old has been hospitalized for 28 days after drinking raw milk,  recommends not giving children milk that hasn’t been pasteurized.

In last few weeks as many as 21 cases of food-borne illnesses have been traced to raw milk from a farm outside of Willsonville.

Health officials are repeating advice that raw milk is dangerous.

Producers and drinkers say the outbreak is an anomaly and that the benefits of raw milk outweigh the risks.

A woman, who asked not to be identified on the air, told OPB’s Think Out Loud that her two-year-old suffered terribly after drinking raw milk.

Jill: “She had strokes early on and pressure in the brain and most recently had a surgery to remove some dead bowel and colon. And now has a ostomy, that will get reversed in six to eight weeks.”

An ostomy is a surgically created opening that allows body waste to be discharged.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that between 1998 and 2009, it found about 1800 illnesses related to raw milk as well as 200 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. Most illnesses were caused by E. coli, Campylobacter or Salmonella.

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