WHO: Bird flu virus now found in milk is of great concern

A recent statement released by the World Health Organization (WHO) is poised to stir up controversy as it highlights the escalating cases of bird flu among humans.

The international health body expressed “great concern” regarding this trend and underscored the alarming discovery of the virus in raw milk.

Dr. Jeremy Farrar, WHO’s chief scientist, emphasized the grave implications of the avian flu, also known as H5N1, noting its “extremely high” mortality rate among global cases. Despite its rarity in the United States, with only two documented cases—one earlier this month and another in 2022—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both instances were linked to close contact with livestock.


Importantly, no instances of human-to-human transmission have been reported.

Farrar voiced apprehension over the virus potentially evolving to infect humans and, more critically, developing the ability for human-to-human transmission. This scenario presents a significant public health risk.

Moreover, the WHO issued a warning concerning the presence of the virus in raw milk, although pasteurized milk remains safe for consumption, as mandated by dairy farming regulations in the US.


Dr. Wenqing Zhang, head of the WHO’s global flu program, disclosed that raw milk from infected cows exhibited a “very high virus concentration.” The duration of the virus’s viability in milk is still under investigation.

Consuming raw milk is universally discouraged due to its susceptibility to harboring various contaminants such as salmonella, listeria, and E. coli, all of which pose serious health risks.

John Fulton, a pharmaceutical industry consultant specializing in vaccines, echoed concerns regarding the potential fatality rate of the virus once it mutates to infect humans, highlighting the critical importance of mitigating this threat.

Written by Telha

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