States Ease Raw Milk Laws Amid Bird Flu Worries; H5N1 Found in Austin Wastewater

As bird flu fears grow, several states are loosening regulations on raw milk sales. Despite warnings from the CDC about the dangers of consuming unpasteurized milk, states like Montana, North Dakota, Alaska, Georgia, Wyoming, Delaware, and West Virginia have passed laws allowing or expanding its sale.

Delaware Senator Eric Buckson noted the demand and economic benefits, stating, “Constituents have been consuming raw milk for decades, crossing state lines to purchase it legally.”

In a related development, H5N1 avian flu has been detected in Austin’s wastewater. Local health officials emphasize that the threat to humans remains low. As per to the source kxan

The Austin Public Health Department clarified that current flu trends are low and wastewater detection does not indicate undetected human cases, stressing that H5N1 primarily spreads through contact with infected animals.

Despite the rise in human exposure risk from infected animals, the CDC reports that the likelihood of H5N1 spreading from birds to humans has not increased. Concerns about raw milk persist, as it can harbor pathogens like salmonella and listeria.

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The CDC maintains that pasteurized milk provides the same nutritional benefits without these risks.

Health experts are cautiously optimistic that H5N1 will not trigger a human pandemic.

Dr. Desmar Walkes of the Austin-Travis County Health Authority mentioned that current antiviral medications are effective against H5N1, and a national reserve of these antivirals is ready for potential outbreaks.

As states adjust raw milk regulations and monitor avian flu, public health officials continue to emphasize the importance of food safety and preparedness for potential flu outbreaks.

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