A New York man was the third affected by drinking raw milk that needed medical attention, as reported by the Center for Disease Control of the United States (CDC). The two previous cases have occurred in October of 2017 in New Jersey and in August of the same year in Texas. These are only the episodes that have reached the health system, because the authorities are looking for affected people in the 19 states in which the product was sold from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, which was responsible for the latest infection.
The cause of the disease is a variant of the bacteria that causes brucellosis that came to milk from a cow vaccinated with it. This strain is attenuated and is used to prevent a disease that in cattle causes abortions, among other damages. In people, brucellosis can go unnoticed, Confused with a flu or other brief viral infection, such as fever, nausea, muscle aches and headaches, but which can be serious, even fatal, in some cases, apart from causing human abortions as well.
The incubation period of the infection can reach six months, so the authorities are looking for those affected, since it is recommended to give them a preventive antibiotic treatment. The usual is a combination of antibiotics, which in this case is complicated, because the strain, RB51, has been shown in the laboratory to be resistant to penicillin and rifampicin, which forces us to look for other alternatives.
The consumption of raw milk is a trend that is on the rise. According to its promoters, the product has greater nutritional properties and better taste. Its impulse arrived last year in Catalonia, where in July a decree was passed regulating its use. The Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Jordá, encouraged their consumption on Twitter.
One of its promoters was Pep Alsina, a cattle rancher in the Osona region, who has even installed a dispensing machine. This Friday, when knowing the cases of the United States, Alsina has limited itself to affirm that "that [la posibilidad de que haya leche con brucela] here it is controlled ", and has referred to the counseling. the movement in favor of raw milk it links it to animals raised on large areas and fed naturally and with the least use of medicines and other substances.
And key in this approach is that the product is not pasteurized or subjected to other sterilization processes until it reaches the house. Although this decision must be compensated later to avoid risks, because the recommendation is that before consuming it milk is boiled to eliminate the bacteria present, such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria Y Salmonella, all of them known to cause diseases in humans. For example, a cheese made from raw milk was behind a intoxication by listeriosis of a man in Madrid.
That risk was the one that led almost 30 years ago to the authorities of Spain to prohibit the commercialization of raw milk (not to be confused with fresh milk, which follows a sterilization at a lower temperature). In 2015, when fashion began to spread, the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency for Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (Aecosan) maintained the objections and recalled that "raw milk can transport pathogenic microorganisms and that the risk can be reduced, but not eliminated by the extreme use of hygienic practices" .
Despite this, following the Catalan regulations, the Ministry of Health, being its holder Dolors Montserrat (PP), announced in July 2018 that he was going to study to extend the regulation to all Spain, but a week later he rectified and he parked the idea.
Rafael Cantón, head of the Microbiology service of the Ramón y Caja Hospital and spokesperson of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), affirms that "the fashion of raw milk goes against the modernization of health and hygiene systems What you have to do is pasteurize the milk ", In fact, he says," thanks to it, brucellosis, which was very frequent in rural areas linked precisely to the consumption of dairy products, has fallen a lot ".