Campylobacter1.jpgThe number of people sickened by raw milk linked to a Franklin County farm has climbed to 77, possibly making it the largest outbreak in Pennsylvania history.

Pennsylvania Department of Health officials said Thursday that the total number of cases continued to increase. The department has identified 67 cases in Pennsylvania, five in Maryland, two in New Jersey and three in West Virginia.

The outbreak of campylobacteriosis is the largest linked to raw milk in Pennsylvania in five years. The two prior record outbreaks since 2006 were both in 2008 – 72 cases during an outbreak originating in Lancaster County and 68 from Montgomery County raw milk. More than 250 people in Pennsylvania have become ill after drinking raw milk during the past five years, according to the state health department. Campylobacter bacteria caused six of the seven outbreaks during that time.

Individuals suffered digestive issues associated with a Campylobacter jejuni bacterial infection. The bacteria has been linked to unpasteurized milk sold by the Family Cow farm in Chambersburg.

“This outbreak has now become the largest outbreak associated with raw milk in Pennsylvania in at least the past two decades,” said health department spokeswoman Holli Senior.

For more information on the risks of raw milk, see Real Raw Milk Facts.