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.

 

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.

Blue-green algae toxicity

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Interview with Dr. Sandra MorganSandra Morgan

Blue-green algae toxicity can become a serious problem in ponds and lakes as waters warm. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are actually bacteria that are capable of photosynthesis. These organisms can proliferate in our waters and release neurotoxins that become very dangerous to us and our animals. As their numbers increase, the water may appear scummy and stagnant. Animals that drink the water, or even just lick it off their fur, can be exposed. Depending on the amount of the toxin consumed, animals can show various signs of injury to the nervous system such as tremors, unconsciousness or death, and it can happen fast. If you’re animal has been exposed, immediately seek veterinary care. If you suspect waters of having high blue-green algae concentration, samples can be submitted to the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to determine toxin levels. The best practice is to avoid stagnant water, and keep your pets and livestock safe.