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.

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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.

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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.

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