James McCurtis, public information officer for the state health department, said the investigation concluded 13 people in Michigan fell ill with campylobacter, a bacterial infection that can lead to nerve disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome, after consuming privately sold raw, unpasteurized milk from an Indiana dairy farm, the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette reported Friday.
He said officials believe the milk to be the cause despite testing on milk found in patients' homes failing to produce a positive result for the bacteria. McCurtis said all of the households involved in the outbreak purchased raw milk from a farm cooperative in Vandalia, Mich.
Officials said most of the patients were under 4 years old. Experts said the incident should serve as a reminder to parents of the risks involved in drinking unpasteurized milk, the newspaper reported.
"Natural doesn't necessary mean more healthy when it comes to milk," said pediatrician Dr. Sandra Wiederhold of Richland, Mich. "As a pediatrician, I promote health and safety and I don't see that raw milk does that."