H5N1 Bird Flu Is Found In Milk For The First Time In “Very High Concentrations”; WHO Warns

The World Health Organisation said that bird flu or H5N1, has been found in raw milk, which is milk that does not go through standard pasteurization processes to rid it of bacteria. Officials said that pasteurized milk, which is standard in major retailers, is still safe. Bird flu has surged in cows and chickens throughout the US, with animals in 29 farms across eight states becoming affected.
bird flu

Bird flu or avian influenza is a viral infection that can infect birds, humans, and other animals

Bird flu has been detected at very high concentrations in milk, health officials have revealed. The World Health Organisation said that bird flu, also known as H5N1, has been found in raw cow milk in the US.
And so, health officials and experts have recommended drinking pasteurized milk - processed to kill harmful bacteria, as it is easily available also in supermarkets. Bird flu or avian influenza is a viral infection that can infect birds, humans, and other animals. It is deadly to birds and can easily affect humans and other animals that encounter a carrier.
The World Health Organization says H5N1 was first discovered in humans in 1997 and has killed nearly 60 per cent of those infected. It has now also started to infect other mammals, including humans, cats, bears, foxes, mink, and penguins.
According to officials, cows were added to that list earlier this month.

Investigations are on

Infections in the dairy herds have been reported and cases are under investigation in many US states. The authorities earlier also said a person working on a dairy farm in Texas was recovering from bird flu after being exposed to cattle.
Officials say the latest cases are a further step of the virus spillover to mammals. There is also a very high virus concentration in raw milk from infected cows, and investigations are on as to exactly how long the virus can survive in milk.

Bird flu alert in India

An outbreak of this deadly disease in Kerala's Alappuzha has left authorities in the district worried. According to news reports, the disease was confirmed in ducks after their sample tested positive.
The Animal Husbandry Department in Kerala has initiated several crucial measures aimed at controlling the spread of the virus, including upgrading laboratory networks, establishing diagnostic facilities, and introducing lateral flow kits for rapid field-level disease diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms

You may have an H5N1 infection if you experience typical flu-like symptoms like:
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Malaise
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

How does the infection spread?

Even though there are several types of bird flu, H5N1 was the first avian influenza virus to infect humans. The first infection occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. The outbreak was linked to handling infected poultry.
H5N1 occurs naturally in wild waterfowl, but it can spread easily to domestic poultry. The disease is transmitted to humans through contact with infected bird feces, nasal secretions, or secretions from the mouth or eyes.
Consuming properly cooked poultry or eggs from infected birds doesn’t transmit the bird flu, but eggs should never be served runny. Meat is considered safe if it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165?F.
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