A British woman said that she was bedbound and is now in a wheelchair after she contracted a dangerous type of bacterial infection.

Sam Philpott picked up the infection after eating unpasteurized cheese while she was vacationing in Greece. The 22-year-old told the story about how she consumed goat cheese from animals who did not receive proper vaccination.

The young woman went to Kos, an island in Greece, with her parents. After a few weeks, she started getting sick with terrifying symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Fever and chills
  • Crippling weakness
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Constant vomiting
  • Migraines

Miss Philpott is from Walsall, West Midlands and for over three years, she has suffered from incapacitating pain. She worked as a nursery assistant and now, she is in a wheelchair, unable to walk. She still experiences the symptoms mentioned above, along with others, such as speech and memory loss and insomnia.

What Happened to Her?

Picture from Samantha Philpott's FB  Page
Picture from Samantha Philpott’s FB Page

Sam Philpott believes that what happened to her was because she ate goat cheese from unvaccinated goats in Greece, causing her to have brucellosis. This bacterial infection comes from animals and it can cause the patient to experience long-lasting symptoms that resemble that of flu. Brucellosis has been effectively wiped out in many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, through vaccination of the animals. Unfortunately, it can still be transmitted if the products come from infected animals and they have not been pasteurized.

While in the Greek island, Philpott had goat cheese in almost everything, such as in her salad, sandwiches, and pizzas. Unluckily for her, each mouthful contributed to the ingestion of the bacteria, leading to her being bedridden now. Today, she is receiving medical care in Florida through intravenous therapy treatment. She receives vitamin supplements and antibiotics because her immune system stops functioning properly.

Unpasteurized cheese such as this one is dangerous.
Unpasteurized cheese such as this one is dangerous.

How to Stay Safe from Brucellosis

Unpasteurized cheese, also known as village cheese, can increase risk of acquiring brucellosis, particularly if it is from areas known for the bacteria. Here are some ways to keep yourself safe:

1. When traveling to developing countries, understand that most of them don’t have safeguards that can for both preventing and monitoring brucellosis outbreak.

2. Know about pasteurization laws, regulations for animal slaughter and control, and surveillance programs for brucellosis in the country you will go to.

3. Consume milk and dairy products that are pasteurized, if unpasteurized, know where the product is from and be sure it is from a vaccinated source.

4. When eating meat products, they should be thoroughly cooked.

5. Try other sources of calcium, instead of just sticking to milk and dairy.

Brucellosis can also be acquired through direct contact with the animals; so as much as possible, don’t touch the animals in a foreign country.