1 in 5 samples of pasteurized milk had bird flu virus fragments, FDA says

"Clearly there are more infected animals out there than being reported."

NBC NEWS – The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that traces of the bird flu virus have been found in 1 in 5 samples of pasteurized milk, providing a more detailed picture of how much of the milk supply has been affected.

The tested milk came from a nationally representative sample, with more of the positive results coming from milk in areas with infected herds of dairy cows, the FDA said.

A spokesperson declined to say how many samples were tested.

As of Thursday, bird flu had been detected in 33 herds in eight states:

Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Ohio and Texas.

“Right now, all indication is that pasteurization is effective.” Dr. Andrew Bowman, Ohio State University

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Richard Webby, an influenza virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said the number of positive samples is consistent with numbers he’s reviewed from smaller sample sets.

“But the number does seem high if the number of infected farms is indeed only 30-odd,” Webby wrote in an email. “Clearly there are more infected animals out there than being reported.”

The FDA first said Tuesday that it had found viral fragments in commercially sold milk, triggering the Agriculture Department to issue a federal order mandating that all dairy cows be tested for bird flu before they are transported between states …

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