Author Prof. E. Harms, University Department of Pediatrics Münster
The SARS-CoV-2 virus also passes into breast milk in case of COVID-19 infections. But even if not fed directly via breastfeeding, the current pandemic means that breast milk may also be contaminated with the virus while or after it is expressed. Two publications from Canada  and from Ulm  with practically identical study designs both show that SARS-CoV-2 can be effectively inactivated through Holder pasteurisation, i.e. heating the milk to 63°C for 30 minutes. The studies measured the viable viral load in samples of non-infected expressed breast milk that had been spiked with a set viral load and then pasteurised or incubated at room temperature for 30 minutes. The viable viral load had also decreased somewhat at room temperature, possibly due to antiviral properties of the breast milk itself.