Mostly Trapping

'Scientists' work to manufacture US MINK SCARE (video)
Nov 11, 2020 08:58 ET

[Reprinted from original]

Original Title: Scientists study if mutated COVID-19 virus can spread from mink to people

There's concern mink could be a so-called reservoir species for COVID-19 by harboring the virus in the animal population and creating a constant threat to humans.

The cases are raising questions about whether mink could pass a mutated version of COVID-19 back to humans.

First the good news, Wisconsin's main livestock industries, dairy, pigs and poultry haven't been affected by COVID-19 animal infections.

But the same can't be said for the $250 million mink industry in the state.

The animals, raised by the thousands for their fur, are proving to be susceptible to COVID-19.

"Two ranches now in Medford, and we've kind of expected that based on the community infection," said Dr. Keith Poulsen, of the UW Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Thousands of mink have been destroyed there after catching COVID from ranch workers.

Poulsen said that's triggered an investigation about whether the virus -- mutating in the mink -- poses a threat to humans.

The investigation is going so far as trapping wild animals near the infected mink farms to see if they've contracted COVID-19.

Poulsen said the outbreak affects the ecosystem in which humans are part of.

"Until you can control the reservoir you're not going to fully eradicate it," Poulsen said.

There's concern mink could be a so-called reservoir species for COVID-19 by harboring the virus in the animal population and creating a constant threat to humans.

"What we don't want to have happen is develop a vaccine for people but know the virus is kind of hanging-out in another species, and right now mink and ferret, because of their biology seems to be one of those candidate species," Poulsen said.

He also said so far, there's no evidence of mink-to-human transmission in the U.S., but added the CDC and USDA are closely monitoring the outbreak.

The country of Denmark last week announced plans to kill 15 million mink on farms there due to COVID-19 concerns.

Officials there stepped back from the order Tuesday, saying they need more scientific data that the mink pose a danger to humans.

The first Wisconsin farm coronavirus outbreak killed at least 2,000 mink.