Amid Bird Flu Outbreak, Warnings Against Drinking Raw Milk

Infectious disease expert Dr. Alok Patel has warned against the dangers of consuming raw milk, especially amid the recent spread of flu among livestock.

The medical contributor for “ABC News” stated, “Do not consume raw milk,” “raw milk is not safe to drink,” while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consuming pasteurized milk to avoid health risks.

Dr. Patel explained that the health risks associated with consuming raw milk are extremely high, as they include “exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses,” urging people to “choose pasteurized products to ensure safety and prevent diseases.”

Pasteurization, a common process since the early 20th century, involves heating milk to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. This process does not significantly affect the nutritional value of the milk.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirm that the safety of commercial milk relies on two main factors: separating milk from sick cows and the pasteurization process.

Despite these measures, raw milk still contains dangerous pathogens such as Escherichia coli, salmonella, and listeria, and its consumption increases the risk of illness hundreds of times compared to pasteurized milk.

Dr. Patel pointed out that individuals at risk, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people, should be especially cautious.

He advised, “When buying any dairy product – milk, cheese, ice cream – make sure it is pasteurized,” urging farmers to check the pasteurization status of their products.

Dr. Patel asserted that “there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that raw milk helps solve certain health problems. While some studies suggest a possible reduction in allergy and asthma symptoms, the risks far outweigh any unproven benefits.”

Symptoms of illness resulting from consuming raw milk can resemble food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. More severe cases, especially in vulnerable individuals, can lead to organ failure and even death.

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