Milk containing the avian flu virus can make mice sick, according to a study

Associated media – Linked media

Pasteurization kills germs by heating milk to high temperatures. In the new study, when the researchers heated the milk to the temperatures and time periods typically used for pasteurization, the virus was either undetectable or greatly diminished, but it was not completely inactivated.

Dr Kawaoka cautioned that laboratory conditions were different to those used in commercial pasteurization, so the results did not mean milk on supermarket shelves contained active viruses.

By contrast, the finding that raw milk contains large amounts of the virus is “robust,” he said.

Raw milk has become popular in recent years as wellness gurus and right-wing commentators have extolled its supposed virtues, even more so since the avian flu outbreak began in dairy cows. Some say it tastes better and is more nutritious than pasteurized milk. Others claim that it increases immunity.

In contrast, pasteurization preserves calcium, the key nutrient in milk, and adds vitamin D to aid absorption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consuming raw milk can lead to serious complications or even death from a variety of pathogens, especially in people with weakened immune systems.

From 1998 to 2018, outbreaks linked to raw milk consumption led to 228 hospital admissions, three deaths and illness in more than 2,600 people.

Related media – Associated media