LANSING (WWJ) – State health officials are warning of the dangers of drinking raw milk after three people were sickened with “Q fever.”  All three said they got the raw milk from a Livingston County farm.

Two cases were reported in Washtenaw County and one in Monroe County. All three are women in their 30s or 40s.

Speaking to WWJ Newsradio 950, Providence Hospital Emergency room physician Dr. Steve McGraw says Q Fever is a rare but serious bacterial infection.

“The illness is signifficant. There is high fever, there’s body aches … muscle aches, a lot of joint pain, very poor appetite. Some people get what we call rigors, where there body is sort of shaking chills. Sometimes they have GI symptoms with it,” said McGraw.

McGraw said Q Fever also lead to other illnessed including pneumonia and heart infection.

One of the three women who fell ill with the disease was hospitalized with Q fever meningitis.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health say people can become infected when they have contact with infected animals or their environment by inhaling airborne organisms, having contact with birth fluids and excretions of infected animals, or consuming raw milk.

“The public should be aware that raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products have not been heat treated and, therefore, pose a
potentially serious risk to human health,” said Dr. Dean Sienko, interim chief medical executive for the MDCH, in a statement.

“Unpasteurized milk and dairy products may contain many types of disease-causing germs, such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter,” he said.

For additional information about Q fever, visit the CDC’s website at this link.

Comments (4)
  1. Rob Crampton says:

    Time will tell if it was actually from the milk. So far the only claim is that the 3 women drank raw milk. It’s possible too that they could have eaten something that was contaminated with the virus as well. What about other folks that drank milk from this farm? Haven’t heard of any other cases. Not sayin’ that it isn’t, but considering the attempts of the State Dep. and FDA’s attempts to give a bad name for raw milk, I would say jumping to such a conclusion without the evidence available is to soon to make any assumptions.

    The press doesn’t mention how many people have gotten sick from pasteurized milk too. You can find this on the CDC website.

    1. Deborah Collingridge says:

      I was one on the women who became ill with Q Fever and the only common thread between all three of us is that we drank the same milk from the same source.

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