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From April 24 to May 11, 1981, an outbreak of approximately 200 cases of Campylobacter jejuni enteritis occurred in Arizona in persons who drank one brand of unpasteurized milk. Two cohort studies showed that households with members who drank raw milk reported diarrheal illness significantly more frequently than those in which no one drank raw milk (P=.003 and P=.001; relative risk 4.70 and 3.85, respectively). Of 19 serotyped C jejuni organisms isolated from persons who drank raw milk from the implicated dairy, 18 were of a single serotype.
C jejuni was not detected in the milk or the milk filters cultured a week after the outbreak, but fecal excretion of Campylobacter of multiple serotypes was higher in the dairy herd that produced the implicated raw milk (48 percent) than in control herds (16 percent).