Newswise — A reminder that the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will host an expert briefing for the media tomorrow, May 15, about the spread of avian influenza, the risks it poses to humans, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H5N1 bird flu has become widespread in migratory birds, with smaller outbreaks in poultry, cows, and a recent case in a U.S. dairy worker. On April 26, the Food and Drug Administration announced that initial results from its commercial milk sampling study showed that one in five samples of milk sold in the U.S. contained traces of bird flu. The FDA says the commercial milk supply is safe because of pasteurization but that it is monitoring the situation. 

The live briefing will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 15, via Zoom, and will feature two experts from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Meghan Davis, PhD, and Andrew Pekosz, PhD, will discuss:

  • What the threat of bird flu means for humans, including dairy farm and milk processing workers.
  • How bird flu is affecting eggs, chickens, livestock, and food supplies. 
  • Bird flu’s recent infections in sea lions, sea elephants, and other marine mammals, as well as in cats on dairy farms.
  • How bird flu is spreading through dairy cattle and adapting to more effectively infect mammals.
  • How the virus can be treated in humans and what the public can do to stay safe.  

Experts:

  • Meghan Davis, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A former dairy veterinarian, she uses One Health approaches to address diseases at the human-animal interface.
  • Andrew Pekosz, PhD, is a professor and vice chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He investigates the replication and disease potential of respiratory viruses, including influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and other emerging viruses.

Registration required: Please register here by 11:30 a.m. today, May 14, to receive the Zoom link and password for Wednesday’s briefing. Questions for the experts may be submitted via the registration form in advance or via chat during the briefing.

Questions about registering: Contact Abubakr Uqdah at [email protected].

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