State issues E. coli warning for raw-milk consumption

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A child and elderly adult became ill with an E. coli infection after drinking raw milk, according the Washington Department of Health.

The DOH this month cautioned people of the risks of drinking raw milk after a child younger than 5 in Island County and a Clallam County resident in their 70s developed the infection after drinking Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk.

“Raw milk doesn’t go through the pasteurization process where harmful germs and bacteria are destroyed. This puts infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system at a greater risk of illness when they drink it,” stated Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington state communicable disease epidemiologist, in a press release.

The release stated E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stool.

“Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take up to nine days to appear. In some cases, the infection causes a serious disease resulting in kidney failure,” the release stated. “Individuals who have any of these symptoms after consuming raw milk should consult their health care provider and notify their local health departments.”

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