COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Public health agencies in southern Colorado have issued warnings while they investigate an outbreak of infections linked to raw milk.

Health officials said as many as 20 people have reported becoming sick after drinking raw milk supplied by Larga Vista Ranch in Pueblo County. The ranch has not been cited by health officials.

Phone calls to the ranch were not answered on Saturday, and they did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

(credit: Dr. Dave Hnida)

(credit: Dr. Dave Hnida)

The infection causes fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, and it can be fatal, officials said.

The El Paso and Pueblo county health departments say the milk was supplied to members of a herd-share program, which allows people to purchase stakes in livestock and to receive a portion of each animal’s milk or meat.

Selling raw milk is usually illegal in Colorado, but herd-share programs offer an exception.

Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, El Paso County Public Health’s medical director, said the infections focus attention on the dangers of drinking raw, unpasteurized milk.

“Sometimes people think that raw foods of all kinds are healthier,” she said. “But in this case, raw milk is very dangerous to be drinking.”

Health officials say infants, young children, pregnant women, seniors and people with weak immune systems are most at risk.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Blew Hiller says:

    This story is almost as impressive as 1000 people on a cruise ship get Hep A or 4,000,000 pounds of e coli meat getting recalled. (sarcasm). Great for the mega milk producers though…

    Odds are the farmer got lazy in his sanitation practices. The market will correct itself, this farmer will lose business, life goes on.

  2. Dwight W Smith says:

    Oh golly !!! If it doesn’t come from a super market, don’t eat it or drink it. How did our grandparents survive on the farm without the local health dept intervening and protecting them?

  3. B Ford says:

    The health department and the farmer had several lab tests done of the milk and it came clean. This farmer never was lazy in his sanitation practices and has run a clean operation for 10 years.The health department wanted to find something, so they used a faulty control group of people who had symptoms, but who also were never tested for campylobacter in order to “prove their point” that raw milk is dangerous. But they failed to mention that anyone who gets campylobacter is now immune in the future. Here is the research:

  4. Mel P says:

    81 cases of foodborne illness associated with raw milk over a 5 yr period out of the millions of cases of foodborne illness reported each year. Yup, raw milk is super dangerous… or, just maybe, industrialized farming might be more dangerous, not to mention less nutritious. Per the CDC, “Campylobacter was found on 47% of raw chicken samples bought in grocery stores and tested through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS). Campylobacter can also be present in the giblets, especially the liver.” Wonder how many of those 20 contaminated people ate store bought chicken? Or how many of them took a hike and drank water from a stream where bird feces had been deposited? It’s not impossible that the contamination came from the raw milk, but it’s just as likely it came from some other common source and the health dept. is jumping on raw milk because they are bent on eradicating its consumption.

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