Infectious H5N1 influenza virus in raw milk rapidly declines with heat treatment

The amount of infectious H5N1 influenza viruses in raw milk rapidly declined with heat treatment in laboratory research. However, small, detectable amounts of infectious virus remained in raw milk samples with high virus levels when treated at 72 degrees Celsius (161.6 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 seconds — one of the standard pasteurization methods used by the dairy industry. The authors of the study stress, however, that their findings reflect experimental conditions in a laboratory setting and are not identical to large-scale industrial pasteurization processes for raw milk.