The department of public health identified two unrelated children who had experienced hemolytic uremic syndrome after consuming raw milk from the farm. Fourteen cases were identified and seven were confirmed, officials say.
Despite acceptable regulation milking standards and sanitation procedures, it is believed that fecal contamination from an asymptomatic cow occurred during milking or the handling of milk, officials say.
The study, scheduled to be published in the Dec. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, concludes the E. coli found in a fecal sample from one of the dairy cows at the farm matched the outbreak strain.
"This finding reinforces the fact that pasteurization remains the most effective method for ensuring the safety of milk," study author Dr. Alice Guh of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a statement. "However, in states where attempts to implement pasteurization and ban raw milk sales have been unsuccessful, alternative control measures to minimize occurrences of raw milk-associated infections are critically needed."