EU agency: Coronavirus spread in minks could speed mutations
14 November, 2020, 13:31
Minks are seen here last week at an estate in Denmark, where the government has ordered the culling of all minks due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the animals.
The ECDC said that when COVID-19 starts spreading on a mink farm, the large numbers of animal infections means "the virus can accumulate mutations more quickly in minks and spread back into the human population". The virus has now been found in minks in Greece as well.
In Denmark, 214 people have been identified as having contracted SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed minks - 12 of which featured a unique variant.
"Tragically, the loss of the Danish mink creation implies that the proprietorship base vanishes and in this way, the organization's administration has chosen to slowly cut back the organization and make a controlled closure over a time of 2-3 years", said Lauge.
The agency recommended countries adopt protective measures at mink farms, including testing people working at the farms and sequencing the virus if they test positive for COVID-19.
The health agency has also called for animals to be tested on a routine basis, as well as for the introduction of additional cautionary measures to limit the potential spread of the virus from minks to humans. The trade in mink fur is an important source of income for the area.
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Meanwhile, the United States and some other countries have been reporting unprecedentedly high numbers of infections. In the country, there are 4,84,547 active cases which comprise 5.55 percent of the total caseload , shared the data.
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