Experts Have Found Fragments Of The H5N1 Bird Flu Virus In Milk. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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If you’ve had the chance to catch the news lately, you may have heard a few headlines discussing the Bird Flu virus.

After news broke that Bird Flu outbreaks have come across dairy farms in the U.S., experts say that fragments of the virus have been found in samples of pasteurized milk.

Since late March, the H5N1 Bird Flu virus has infected up to 33 dairy herds across 8 different states according to the CDC.

Although this discovery was in fact surprising to experts, considering that it is the first time the Bird Flu has infected cows.

Now while the virus has made one farmer sick with very mild symptoms, who is also only the second person in the U.S. to become infected from Bird Flu, there’s no need to panic.

Health Authorities have been monitoring the milk on grocery store shelves.

And while the World Health Organization did find “very high concentrations” of the virus in raw milk from infected animals, this is not so surprising since unpasteurized milk can contain all kinds of bacteria and viruses.

It’s also to important to note that in a new discovery, the FDA has uncovered samples in pasteurized milk to be tested positive for inactive remnants of the H5N1 virus.

Although the FDA has also noted that the pasteurization of milk is likely to inactivate the virus and “the process is not expected to remove the presence of viral particles.”

As a refresh, pasteurization is the process of heating food to omit pathogens and to extend shelf life.

And nearly all milk, (99% of it), that are produced on dairy farms in the U.S. do follow a strict pasteurization process known as the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance to help ensure the safety of dairy products.

“To date, we have seen nothing that would change our assessment that the commercial milk supply is safe,” the FDA said in a recent statement.


Now alongside certain testing, the FDA and the United Staes Department of Agriculture are working together to destroy the milk from the cows that are sick.

“US government partners have been working with deliberate speed on a wide range of studies looking at milk along all stages of production – on the farm, during processing, and on shelves – using well-established methodologies used previously to confirm pasteurization effectiveness for known pathogens,” explained the FDA. “This work is a top priority.”


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