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Continued FDA testing finds no active bird flu virus in variety of dairy products

·2 mins

Ongoing testing by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed no active H5N1 bird flu virus in 297 milk and dairy product samples purchased from grocery stores. The FDA examined samples of various products made from milk, including fluid milk, cheese, sour cream, and infant and toddler formula made with milk powder. Initial tests found remnants of the H5N1 virus in 20% of the first set of samples, but further testing confirmed that the virus was inactive and would not pose a risk to human health. An additional 201 samples also showed no evidence of active virus. The FDA emphasized the safety of the US commercial milk supply and urged against the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products. The government is also testing ground beef and raw milk sent for pasteurization. The H5N1 bird flu outbreak among dairy cows has been reported in nine US states, with Texas having the highest concentration of infected herds. The virus has not shown efficient person-to-person transmission, and the public health risk remains low, with only one person testing positive in connection to the outbreak. The USDA believes that the virus jumped from infected wild birds to cattle in the Texas Panhandle. The movement of equipment or other items between herds, rather than solely cattle, might have contributed to the spread of the infection between states. The CDC has identified certain groups, including farm workers, veterinarians, and slaughterhouse workers, as being at higher risk of infection. These individuals are advised to avoid close contact with sick or dead animals, raw milk, and potentially contaminated water, and to wear personal protective equipment when working with animals.