Coronavirus: Outbreaks at European mink farms shows virus may pass from animals to humans | Science & Tech News

Scientists are investigating whether mink can spread the coronavirus to humans after outbreaks on farms in Spain and the Netherlands.

The outbreaks of infected workers on the mink farms are believed to have started and passed the virus on to the small animals.

Scientists consider it "plausible" that the minks then returned it to the staff and investigated how dangerous the animals were.

Mink, Mustelidae, with brown fur on a grassy trail on a spring morning
Millions of minks in Europe have been slaughtered after workers on farms were infected

in the Spain, The outbreak on a mink farm near La Puebla de Valverde infected 14 employees, including the owner in late May.

After the company closed, two more employees tested positive COVID-19.

More than 92,000 minks were slaughtered after it was believed that more than 90% of them were infected with the virus.

After the eruption in the NetherlandsProfessor Wim van der Poel, who studies animal viruses at the University of Wageningen and Research, said the virus strain in animals is similar to that in humans.

"We assumed that it would be possible to pass it on to people again," he added.

At the beginning of the outbreak, it was believed that the orona virus was originally transmitted from an animal that was thought to be bats. However, this has never been confirmed.

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If it is demonstrated that mink can transmit the disease to humans, this would be the first documented case of animal to human transmission.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is aware of the mink farm outbreak, but believes that the transmission of animals to humans was "very limited".


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Dr. WHO's Maria Van Kerkhove said, "This gives us some pointers on which animals are susceptible to infection and this will help us if we learn more about the potential animal reservoir of (the virus)."

According to the country's Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, over one million mink have been killed in 26 plants in the Netherlands.

Farm logs in Spain and the Netherlands have been tightened and mink transport has been banned.

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