The first confirmed infection of cattle with bird flu: Is there a danger to humans?


The virus causes thick, syrupy and discolored milk in cattle. Scientists have found that this is the historically first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in ruminants. Until now, there has been a lack of clear evidence as to whether influenza can actually be transmitted to cattle. According to experts, infected milk is not a risk to humans. The pasteurization process thoroughly destroys viruses.

At least four dairy farms in Texas and Kansas experts discovered highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) spreading on local cows. Other confirmed cases are also appearing in the state of New Mexico. As the Science Alert server commented, the US Department of Agriculture has not yet stated the exact number of affected cows.

Infected milk on store shelves?

The virus is highly lethal to birds. According to available information, no cows have died so far. But the infection causes a sharp drop in milk production, reduced appetite and fever. The virus mainly attacks older cattle. Veterinarian and researcher Jim Lowe told the New York Times that infected milk is syrupy, thick and discolored.

According to the official, the milk would never reach the market. “At this stage there are no concerns about the safety of commercial milk supplies or that this circumstance poses a risk to the health of consumers,” the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

Even if the product were somehow to reach store shelves, according to experts, pasteurization would protect consumers from the virus.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: confirmed infection cattle bird flu danger humans


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