NOW: Bird Flu Detected in What?!

( – Early this week, U.S. health authorities disclosed that they discovered traces of bird flu virus in the nation’s pasteurized cow milk supply amid a comprehensive study.

However, they reassured the public that these samples were unlikely to pose any health threat.

An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has struck dairy cattle herds across the country, with one human contracting mild symptoms as a result.

Despite the H5N1 strain of HPAI causing substantial poultry fatalities during the ongoing outbreak, affected cows have not experienced severe illness.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that, during a national survey, viral particles were detected in “milk from affected animals, in the processing system, and on the shelves.”

Nevertheless, rigorous testing using a highly sensitive quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method revealed leftovers of the pathogen’s genetic material, even if the virus itself had been neutralized by pasteurization.

The FDA emphasized that “The pasteurization process has served public health well for more than 100 years. Even if virus is detected in raw milk, pasteurization is generally expected to eliminate pathogens to a level that does not pose a risk to consumer health.”

Likewise, the agency’s scientists are conducting further investigations on positive samples through “egg viability studies,” which involve injecting a sample into an embryonated chicken egg to determine if any active virus replicates.

“Additional analysis is underway of milk on store shelves across the country in addition to work to evaluate any potential differentiation for various types of dairy products (e.g., whole milk, cream),” the FDA added.

Bird flu has previously been identified in raw milk, prompting long-standing advisories from health authorities against its consumption.

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