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22/05/2024

Home » Bird Flu Worries Mount As Virus Found In Milk, Cows

Bird Flu Worries Mount As Virus Found In Milk, Cows

The USDA said all dairy cows moved across state lines must be tested

(Image credit: Costfoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What happenedDairy cows moved across state lines must now be tested for bird flu to help quash an outbreak that has spread to at least 33 herds in eight states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday. One Texas dairy worker contracted a mild case and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it found inactive H1N1 viral fragments in pasteurized grocery store milk, though the risk to humans appears low.

Who said whatDairy producers have been a “little bit” hesitant to “allow us to gather information from their farms,” said the USDA’s Dr. Michael Watson. This federal order will “really help us address any gaps that might exist.”

We may “get lucky with H1N1 and it will never manage to spread among humans,” but “there is only a small window of time” to stop “dangerous novel pathogens” before they “spiral out of control,” said Zeynep Tufekci at The New York Times. So far, we don’t “seem up to the task.”

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What next?FDA tests to confirm there’s no live virus in pasteurized milk will be “available in the next few days to weeks,” said food safety director Don Prater.

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Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site’s launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.