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November 14, 2017

A woman from northern New Jersey who recently became ill with Brucella RB51, a rare bacterial infection associated with consuming raw — unpasteurized — milk is the second person in the United States to contract the illness this year. The woman has since recovered, according to the state Department of Health, which was notified of her case in late October.

The DOH issued cease-and-desist orders on Friday to Udder Milk, a home delivery company that it said has been illegally selling unpasteurized milk in the state. Dr. Tina Tan, the state epidemiologist, noted that it is illegal to sell or distribute raw milk or milk products, such as yogurt, soft cheese, and ice cream because they may contain dangerous bacteria.

The symptoms of a brucellosis infection can include fever, sweats, weight loss, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. Severe cases can cause infections in the heart or central nervous system. It is mandatory to report suspected and confirmed cases to the health department. The DOH website has additional information on brucellosis.

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