The State of Utah is known for having a top notch health department, and officials from the agency have been busy over the last couple of weeks investigating two outbreaks of salmonella and campylobacter. The salmonella outbreak occurred in Wasatch, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties, and is linked to the consumption of raw milk from Redmond Farms in Sevier County. At least 6 people have fallen ill with confirmed salmonella illnesses after drinking the product. The campylobacter outbreak has occurred in Saratoga Springs, and is linked to the consumption of water. Utahans are running out of options for drink, and just when the weather’s getting hot.
The salmonella outbreak linked to raw milk from Redmond Farms is another in a long list of raw milk outbreaks. According to CDC, between 1998 and 2008, there were 85 outbreaks of human infections resulting from consumption of raw milk reported to CDC, including a total of 1,614 reported illnesses, 187 hospitalizations and two deaths. Illnesses and deaths have also been linked to the consumption of fresh cheese made from raw (unpasteurized milk), especially the Mexican-style queso fresco cheeses. And currently, Governor Doyle from Wisconsin is considering whether to sign a bill that would legalize the sale of raw milk.
The campylobacter outbreak linked to drinking water in Saratoga Springs is also merely another in a string of outbreaks linked to water consumption. A fitness center in Jackson, Missouri has recently been linked to an E. coli outbreak. Since April 28, 14 people have reported E. coli-like symptoms, and 4 have been hospitalized.
In March 2008, approximately 2000 people were sickened by drinking water in Alamosa Colorado. A report released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found animal waste likely contaminated an in-ground storage tank that had been identified as a problem in 1997. The 2008 outbreak included 442 reported cases of illness, but state health officials estimate as many as 1,300 of the towns 8,900 residents were sickened. One death was associated with the outbreak.