STAT May 24, 2024
Helen Branswell

A new study published Friday provides more evidence of the potential danger of drinking unpasteurized, or raw, milk containing H5N1 avian flu viruses.

The work, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that mice that were fed milk from H5N1-infected cows became very ill.

The study cannot prove that what happened to the mice would definitely happen to people who drink raw milk containing the dangerous virus, but it underscores the probable risk, experts said. Studies like this cannot be conducted in people, for ethical reasons.

“Raw milk is clearly highly suspected of transmitting [H5N1] to animals,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “It’s still unclear...

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