Avian flu, the WHO warning: “Don't drink raw milk”

Of concern is thebird flu in the United States of America where many animal species are already affected, from birds to cattle, including bears, squirrels, dolphins and skunks. These factors raise the risk that the virus could be also transmitted to humansespecially after the case that was recorded in Texas. L'WHOWorld Health Organization, intervened by advising American citizens not to drink raw milkgiving priority to the pasteurized one.

Avian flu, WHO advises against drinking raw milk

“In all countries people should consume pasteurized milk because the virus was detected in raw milk in the United Statesbut preliminary tests show that pasteurization kills it,” said the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. His words confirm what had already been stated previously by the United States Department of Agriculture which maintained that “the detection of viral RNA does not in itself pose a health risk to consumers and we expect to find this genetic material residue if the virus was in raw milk and was inactivated by the pasteurization process to inactivate pathogens.”

WHO: “Low risks for humans”

In the United States theH5N1 avian flu among animals it could soon become endemic. More specifically, the epidemic among cattle dairy farming has so far involved 36 cow farms in the country, also extending to many birds and animals such as squirrelsthe skunksi dolphins bottlenose dolphins they polar bears. For theWHOhowever, there would be no gods risks high for theman: “For the moment – ​​said Ghebreyesus – only one human case has been reported, at least 220 people are monitored and another 30 have been tested. So far the virus shows no signs of adapting to spread among humans, but increased surveillance is needed.” The danger and so Bass for the general population, as it transitions to moderate for those who are habitually exposed to potentially infected animals.

Avian flu may become endemic in the USA

The scenario described in United States has led several scientists to believe that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza can become endemic in the country, thus increasing the risks of transmission to humans. As supported by Natures, the virus is capable of species-hopping back and forth between cows and birds, resulting in great spread ability. To this aspect we must add the fact that the cows they can also host different types of influenza viruses and, over time, the exchange of genetic material could lead to the generation of a strain capable of infecting humans more easily. For Michael Worobeyan evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, it is inevitable that mutations of the virus will arise, as “whatever opportunity we had to nip the problem in the bud, we lost it due to very slow detection.”

The situation in Italy

In Italyaccording to data from the Ministry of Health dated April 9, in 2024 Only one outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed on a poultry farm in February. In the period between March and December 2023however, there had been 11. In the same period of time, in Europe, there were 88 outbreaks in poultry and 175 in wild birds in 23 countries. The virus has affected mammals only in Finlandwhere cases were recorded on fur farms.