Handling HPAI: Doctors applaud the pasteurization process but warn against drinking unpasteurized milk

The ag industry and markets continue to closely monitor livestock as cases of High Path Avian Flu emerge nationwide.

Last night, on a very special episode of Rural Health Matters, Dr. Paul Friedrichs joined Dr. Jeffrey Gold to discuss the situation with dairy cows and the virus.

He stressed the milk supply is safe thanks to pasteurization, a measure that has required extensive effort by the ag community over many years to ensure the availability of a safe product.

“This is a real credit to the work that the Public Health and the agricultural community has done over many decades to protect Americans from a whole host of illnessess. This whole pasteurizition process works very well, it’s very safe and very effective. We have, for years, recommended people be cautious about drinking unpasteurized milk and would rather footstomp that now, especially if your immune system is not quite up to snuff or any other medical conditions, as you mentioned with type 2 diabetes. You should not, we strongly recommend that you not, drink unpasteurized milk.”

As for human cases, they both say there is no evidence that humans can pass it along to each other. However, the CDC recently issued an alert about a human contracting the virus, and says while the risk remains low, anyone who could be exposed to birds are at higher risk and should take precautions.

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