E. coli 0157H7

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Interview with Dr. Tamara GullGull photo

Many bacteria can cause food poisoning. Bacteria that can be normal in one animal can become a severe health risk when they enter another animal’s body.

E. coli 0157H7 is one of these bacteria, and is known for causing serious disease in people, specifically gastroenteritis and damage to the kidneys.

This strain of E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the intestines of livestock and doesn’t make them sick. Yet if this bacteria contaminates our food, it becomes a severe health risk to us. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, even kidney failure and death, particularly in children and the elderly.

Cooking meat to the proper internal temperature kills the E. coli bacteria. Completely cooking meats, as well as washing produce carefully before consumption, will help protect you and your family from this disease. As with many diseases hand washing is an important safeguard to protect you from transferring the bacterium to yourself or others.

Understanding this disease, and how E. coli 0157H7 is spread, will help you avoid the ravages of this serious food poisoning.

E. coli 0157H7

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Interview with Dr. Tamara GullGull photo

There are many bacteria that can cause food poisoning.  Bacteria that can be normal in one animal can become a severe health risk when they enter another animal’s body.

E. coli 0157H7 is one of these bacteria, and is known for causing serious disease in people, specifically gastroenteritis and damage to the kidneys. This strain of E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the intestines of livestock and doesn’t make them sick, yet if this bacteria contaminates our food it becomes a severe health risk to us.  It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, even kidney failure and death, particularly in children and the elderly.

Cooking meat to the proper internal temperature kills the E. coli bacteria. Completely cooking meats, as well as washing produce carefully before consumption, will help protect you from this disease.  As with many diseases hand washing is an important safeguard to protect you from transferring the bacterium to yourself or others.  Understanding this disease, and how it is spread, will help keep you safe.

 

Johne’s disease in cattle

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Interviews with Dr. Tamara GullGull photo

Johne’s disease is a contagious, chronic and usually fatal condition that affects primarily cattle and is a serious problem for cattle producers.

This disease is caused by a bacterium, related to those that cause leprosy and tuberculosis. It has historically been a problem in dairy cattle, but is becoming an increasing problem in beef cattle as well.

When calves are born they can become exposed to contaminated manure and contract the disease. They may show no signs until several years later in life, when they develop chronic diarrhea and begin to lose weight. There is no vaccine and no treatment for Johne’s disease, which is progressive. It will result in the infected animal being culled, or removed from the herd.

Llamas and Alpacas can also get this disease.

The best practice to prevent this untreatable disease is to have cows birth their calves on clean pasture with minimal manure contamination. Cattle producers should maintain a closed herd, and only introduce new animals after they’ve been tested for this disease.

Your veterinarian can submit samples to the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to help protect your herd from Johne’s Disease.

The truth about raw milk

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Interview with Dr. Tamara GullGull photo

When raw, unpasteurized milk is consumed from a cow it brings with it the possibility of disease from many bacteria and viruses that can harm you.

Pasteurization is the process of heating the milk to a constant temperature over sufficient time to kill bacteria and viruses. The process of pasteurization, developed by Louis Pasteur who is known as the father of microbiology, has resulted in a much safer milk supply for us. This process is also used in wine production.

Studies have shown that the nutritional content of milk is only slightly affected by the pasteurization process, while it’s safety is dramatically increased. Many diseases that were once common, have been virtually eliminated by pasteurization. Even a healthy cow can produce milk that has organisms that can harm you if not handled properly.

Unpasteurized cheese products can be made safer by aging. Once raw milk cheese has been aged past 60 days most bacteria and viruses are no longer active, making it safe for consumption.

Keep you and your family safe by avoiding consumption of raw, unpasteurized milk.

The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab

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Interview with Dr. Sandra MorganSandra Morgan

Located across the street from the OSU veterinary medical hospital and college, the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab is home to an amazing team of scientists who use a wide array of specialties to unravel the mysteries of animal disease.

The lab takes in samples, or whole animals that have died, from veterinarians and owners, to determine the cause of death or find what evidence is present about a specific disease. They conduct a multitude of tests for many diseases and toxins.

They help food animal producers to determine the causes of production loss. They help to prevent the spread of disease by running needed tests for health certificates. The laboratory analyzes all sorts of samples for pathology, including analyzing surgical biopsy samples, diagnosing and staging various cancers, and preparing samples for rabies testing.

Animal owners and veterinarians have an invaluable resource for the protection of animal health in the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab.