Pasteurising breast milk inactivates COVID-19 virus: Study
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Pasteurizing breast milk using a common technique inactivates severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) making it safe for use, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

"In the event that a woman who is COVID-19-positive donates human milk that contains SARS-CoV-2, the method of pasteurisation renders milk safe for consumption," said study researcher Sharon Unger from the University of Toronto in Canada.

"Whether by transmission through the mammary gland or by contamination through respiratory droplets, skin, breast pumps and milk containers, this method is safe," Unger added.

The Holder method, a technique used to pasteurise milk in all Canadian milk banks (62.5 degrees C for 30 minutes), is effective at neutralising viruses such as HIV, hepatitis and others that are known to be transmitted through human milk.

In this study, researchers spiked human breast milk with a viral load of SARS-CoV-2 and tested samples that either sat at room temperature for 30 minutes or were warmed to 62.5 degrees C for 30 minutes and then measured for the active virus.

The study found that the virus in the pasteurised milk was inactivated after heating.

More than 650 human breast milk banks around the world use the Holder method to ensure a safe supply of milk for vulnerable infants, the researchers said.

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/cmaj-pbm070920.php
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