CDC warns residents of 4 states of serious infection risk linked to contaminated milk

The CDC warned residents of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island Tuesday of possible infection risk linked to the consumption of raw milk and milk products distributed by the company Udder Milk.

The warning comes after the agency in September identified a case of brucellosis caused by Brucella abortus RB51 bacteria in a New Jersey woman who consumed milk delivered by the company. The bacterial illness is rare and can incite symptoms such as fever, sweats, aches and fatigue. Infections with the bacteria can cause miscarriages in pregnant women and, if left untreated, can result in long-term complications such as arthritis, heart problems or chronic infections.

Udder Milk has not provided the CDC with information about the farms that supply their milk, so agency investigators have not been able to pinpoint the exact source of the New Jersey woman's infection. However, information obtained by the agency suggests the company delivers products in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

"Because health officials have no direct way to let people know they may have drunk contaminated milk, everyone who consumed milk from Udder Milk in the past six months should receive antibiotics now to avoid having long-term health effects from the bacteria," said William Bower, MD, team lead for the CDC group that investigates brucellosis.

The move from the CDC marks the second time in three months the agency has issued a warning for Brucella exposure linked to contaminated milk. In September, the agency warned individuals who consumed raw milk from a Texas dairy farm to contact their healthcare providers immediately due to possible exposure to Brucella bacteria.

To learn more about brucellosis, click here

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