Bird Flu Traces Found In 20% Of Milk Samples

Traces of bird flu were recently found in 20% of milk samples tested across the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The agency suggested that the outbreak of the virus is more widespread than it previously believed, but that there is no reason to think that the presence of the virus in milk poses a danger to human health.

An infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Michael Osterholm, said, “This says this virus has largely saturated dairy cattle throughout the country.”

Newsmax pointed out that multiple experts in the field and government officials have expressed their belief that the pasteurization process with inactivate the disease, known as avian influenza. Additional testing is required to ensure that there is no infectious virus in the milk, according to the FDA.

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

Associate professor of food science at Cornell University Samuel Alcaine said he was not worried about the milk.

“I’m not worried about the milk itself. It does indicate that the virus is more widespread among dairies than we had previously thought,” Alcaine said.

“We had a little over 40 herds or farms that had been reported as having positive for avian influenza. We have just under 30,000 farms across the U.S. Thirty-three is a really small number. It makes it seem like there is definitely more spread out there,” he added.

Thus far, eight states across America have confirmed cases of bird flu in 33 dairy herds, according to the Agriculture Department. Of all cases, just one individual was confirmed to have the virus in the current outbreak. The patient suffered an eye irritation that causes redness and discomfort, known as conjunctivitis.

The FDA pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has yet to record additional human cases of bird flu beyond the first confirmed case. The agency is continuing its assessment of positive findings by conducting egg inoculation tests, which it described as the best way for determining viable virus.