HomeLatest NewsState NewsDOH Secretary Issues the Statement on H5N1 Avian Influenza

DOH Secretary Issues the Statement on H5N1 Avian Influenza

In response to recent concerns surrounding H5N1 Avian Influenza, South Dakota Department of Health Secretary, Melissa Magstadt, underscores collaborative efforts with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to safeguard the well-being of both the state’s population and livestock.

“The Department of Health is working with the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to ensure the safety of the people and livestock in South Dakota. It’s important to note that the risk of human infection is low,” said Department of Health Secretary, Melissa Magstadt. “If you have had exposure to an H5N1-infected bird or animal and are showing signs and symptoms of infection, such as redness and swelling of the eye (conjunctivitis), cough, fever, or sore throat, visit your medical provider to be tested.”

Currently, there is no concern about the safety of the commercial milk supply or risk to consumer health. Dairies are required to ensure only milk from healthy animals enter the food supply chain. Additionally, the pasteurization process of heating milk to a high temperature ensures milk and dairy products can be safely consumed, as confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In line with long-standing policy, the CDC does not recommend consuming unpasteurized milk or raw milk. Pasteurization has continually proven to successfully inactivate bacteria and viruses, like influenza, in milk.

For more information, please see the H5N1 Avian Influenza page on the DOH website.

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