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Minks may have transmitted Covid-19 to Dutch farmers

Research findings from an ongoing investigation into COVID-19 cases at mink farms suggest that there has been a transmission of coronavirus from mink to human, according to the Dutch government.

Concerns were raised after tests on 2 farms confirmed that the animals were carriers of the virus.

As a result of the new findings, Dutch government officials have begun to implement new measures.

Mink infections

Agricultural Minister, Carola Schouten, said: “’These new findings have a major impact on mink-farm owners and staff and their families, as well as on local communities. I’m in close contact with all those involved.”

The virus that was found on one of the staff on the farm showed similarities to that found in the mink on the farm. Based on the comparison, researchers concluded that the original infection of staff can be traced back to the mink.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in The Netherlands has confirmed that researchers are now continuing to map the genetic family tree of the virus in infected people in the area surrounding the mink farm in question.

Measures

In accordance with new COVID-19 measures following this discovery, all mink at Dutch farms will be screened for antibodies. This measure has been made compulsory across the country.

Staff are advised to wear PPE while at work to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus and no visitors will be admitted to the farm.

Photo by Jared Belson

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