Drinking unpasteurized milk directly from farm animals to treat sores in the mouth -- from hand-foot-and-mouth disease, for example -- is dangerous, the Health Ministry warned on Wednesday.
In the summer, there is an increase of entero-virus infections, which are one of the factors causing sores in the mouth. Thus while unpasteurized milk has been found to help some children and youths, its is dangerous, said the ministry, which became aware of the folk remedy.
Drinking or gargling unpasteurized milk of cows, sheep, goats or camels -- and even applying it to the skin -- is potentially harmful. It’s impossible to know from the color, smell or taste of the milk if there are risky bacteria and other microbes.
Unpasteurized milk may contain Brucella, Salmonella, e-coli and Listeria microbes and lead to infections with fever, stomachache, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases, these can lead to serious complications and even death. The microbes are most dangerous for babies, young children, pregnant women, elderly and others suffering from weak immune systems.