Avian Flu Discovered in Cow’s Milk Sold in US


Fragments of the Avian Flu (also known as bird flu) virus have been detected in the US milk supply. According to the FDA, test results indicate that bird flu is much more widespread across the country’s dairy cow population than initially thought. Health officials stressed that the viral fragments do not pose a health risk to people. This is because the majority of the milk from US farms undergoes pasteurization, a high-heat treatment that kills most viruses. While this process should kill flu viruses, which are susceptible to heat, the FDA is only in the early stages of testing how well pasteurization neutralizes Avian Flu specifically.

The discovery of bird flu in commercially sold is the latest development since the virus was first found to have infected dairy cows in 9 states. One man who works at a dairy farm developed a mild case, and his only symptom was “pink eye”. Despite this human infection, the The Food and Drug Administration emphasizes that the milk itself does not directly endanger the health of Americans. The agency has not reported the number of milk samples had shown a positive result for the virus nor the location at which the samples were collected. If there is evidence of the virus across the milk supply, experts say this would demonstrate many more cows have the virus than initially known. While the milk itself would not pose a risk to human health, “the problem in dairy cows might be much bigger than we know”, explained David O’Connor, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “That would be the concern”.

Full Story: HealthDay