The Malaysian health ministry warned that drinking raw cow's or goat's milk can greatly increase the risk of diseases such as bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and brucellosis
In a report by the Malay Mail Online yesterday, 20 November, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that consuming unpasteurised or unboiled milk can have adverse health effects
Dr Noor Hisham explained that untreated raw milk can contain harmful bacteria such as Mycobacterium bovis and Brucella.
Mycobacterium bovis is an aerobic bacterium that can cause bovine TB disease in both humans and animals. Tuberculosis is a disease that attacks the lungs and spreads through the air when another person infected by it coughs, sneezes or talks. If left untreated, TB can be fatal.
As for Brucella, it is an infectious disease that is caused by a type of bacteria called Brucella which can cause febrile like symptoms including muscular pain and sweating and can sometimes last for months or even years.
"Drinking raw camel milk without heat treatment is suspected to be the cause of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection in some cases because the milk contains the MERS-CoV viruses. These diseases can be fatal," said Dr Noor Hisham.
He asked the people to not consume any type of milk without having boiled it first.
According to the English daily, this health ministry directive comes after the government was made aware of certain people promoting the consumption of raw milk.
It was also informed that anyone who sells untreated raw milk can be convicted under the Food Act 1983 which carries a fine of no more than RM10,000 and imprisonment not exceeding five years