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There is currently no sign of bird flu spreading from person to person

Bird flu has spread to millions of dairy cattle in several areas of the United States, and one person has so far been reported to be infected.

So far, at least 220 persons have been monitored and 30 have been tested.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the UN health agency, said on Wednesday that many people have come in contact with infected animals and it is important to monitor and test them. They will also have to be provided with health care as needed.

According to Dr Tedross, so far the virus has not given any indication that it can spread between individuals, but constant monitoring is necessary.

The health organization says the virus has been found in raw milk in the US, but initial tests show that pasteurization, which is a process of heating milk briefly at high temperatures and then cooling it, kills the virus.

In view of this, the UN agency has advised people in all countries to use pasteurized milk, through which the microorganisms of potential viruses can be reduced to such a level that it does not pose any health risk.

This also increases the shelf life of milk.

Low risk to public health

The UN agency’s director-general said the organisation assesses that the public health risk from H5N1 avian influenza is currently low, with the risk being mild to moderate for people who come into contact with infected animals.

According to Dr. Tedross, there is a system for monitoring influenza worldwide, which is operated by a network of centres located in 130 countries.

In recent years, H5N1 has spread rapidly among wild birds, poultry, land and marine mammals, and is now infecting dairy cattle.

There have been 28 cases of people getting infected since 2021, although there has been no confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus.

David Dass
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