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Time to avoid raw milk and raw milk cheeses. The bird flu virus (H5N1) has been spreading among dairy cows for months, and now scientists are finding extremely high amounts of the bird flu virus in cows' milk. The good news is that pasteurization will kill the virus.

The big concern is that somehow the virus will mutate and start infecting humans on a large scale. Besides cattle, there have been outbreaks of the virus in over 200 species of mammals since 2022. Millions of wild birds have died from the virus.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that: 1) The H5N1 bird flu virus survived in raw dairy milk kept under refrigerated conditions for at least 5 weeks (they didn't test beyond that point). 2) When mice consumed infected raw milk, they showed signs of illness. This suggests that drinking raw milk may pose a risk of transmission to people. 3) Pasteurization "neutralized" the virus

The CDC says it's not just raw milk, but also any raw milk dairy products - cheeses, yogurt, ice cream can be contaminated by the virus and to avoid eating them.

The following article reports that as of June 5, H5N1 infections have been confirmed in more than 80 dairy herds in 9 states and in 3 dairy farm workers, who had mild symptoms (first 2 had conjunctivitis type eye symptoms, the 3rd had respiratory symptoms). A number of cats have died from the virus after ingesting raw milk.

Excerpts from Nature: Huge amounts of bird-flu virus found in raw milk of infected cows

Milk from cows infected with bird flu contains astronomical numbers of viral particles, which can survive for hours in splattered milk, new data shows1,2. The research adds to growing evidence that the act of milking has probably been driving viral transmission among cows, other animals and potentially humans. ...continue reading "Raw Milk and Raw Milk Products May Contain the Bird Flu Virus"