One in Five Milk Samples Infected with Bird Flu Virus: US FDA


The Food and Drug Administration reports that approximately one-fifth of the commercial milk samples examined in a nationally representative research conducted in the United States contained fragments of the avian flu virus.

While the presence of traces of the virus in milk doesn’t necessarily indicate a risk to consumers, more tests are needed to confirm if intact pathogen is present and remains infectious, the FDA said in a statement on its website. That would determine “whether there is any risk of illness associated with consuming the product,” it added.

The preliminary study’s findings provide a clear picture of how swiftly a virus that has killed millions of birds worldwide is infecting dairy cows in the US, creating problems for food security and health and unsettling markets.
According to the FDA, milk from locations where infected cattle are present accounts for a larger percentage of positive test results. 33 contaminated herds have been identified by the US Department of Agriculture in eight states, including Texas, Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio. The required testing of dairy cows crossing state borders was instituted by the USDA on Wednesday in an attempt to limit the virus and determine the scope of the outbreak.

Authorities have reiterated that there is still little risk to people. There has only been one confirmed case of infection in the US this year, and there hasn’t been any human-to-human spread. After being in close proximity to infected cattle, the individual only displayed mild symptoms and received Tamiflu treatment.

To date, the retail milk studies have shown no results that would change our assessment that the commercial milk supply is safe,” FDA said. 

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