COVID-19 outbreaks at US mink farms raise alarm after mutant strain spreads to humans in Denmark - USA TODAY
Nov 20, 2020 1 min, 27 secs

Coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in Wisconsin, Utah and Michigan mink farms.

— Environmental groups are raising alarms after reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in farmed mink in the United States, and of a mutant COVID-19 strain spreading from mink to humans in Denmark.

4, 11 mink farms in the three states had reported COVID-19 outbreaks.

“Currently there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to people,” said Andrea Cantu-Schomus, communications director for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

In early November, Denmark announced it would kill all 17 million of the mink raised there after the Danish Health Minister confirmed 12 people had been infected with a mutated strain of COVID-19 that had spread from mink to humans.

In response, the World Health Organization has advised all countries to enhance surveillance for COVID-19 at mink farms.

In addition to Denmark and the United States, COVID-19 infections have been reported in farmed mink in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and Greece, according to the WHO.

6, the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to officials at the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Health Authority, asking them to immediately send inspectors to all mink farms to ensure they don’t imperil public health.

Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking them to immediately quarantine mink farms across the country, stop breeding programs and implement a buy-out to phase out mink farms.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Health Authority said they are working together to draft responses.

“Rather, ODA and the state veterinarian have been engaged with the Oregon mink industry providing information on biosecurity, as well as specific steps to take in order to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into mink farms," she said. 


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