Poland finds COVID-19 cases among mink farm workers

Cheryl Sanders
November 21, 2020

A mink looks out from its cage at the farm of Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann-Mona Kulsoe Larsen as they have to kill off their herd, which consists of 3000 mother mink and their cubs on their farm near Naestved, Denmark.

"No further cases of mink variant with cluster 5 have been detected since September 15, which is why the State Serum Institute assesses that this variant has most likely become extinct", the ministry said in a statement.

The mass cull was ordered after it was discovered that a mutated version of the coronavirus found among minks in Danish farms can be transmitted to people, though there is no evidence so far that it is more risky or resistant to vaccines.

"Mainly because of the number of mink infected with COVID-19".

A study in the Journal Nature this week found that, as things stand, the mink mutations would not jeopardise any vaccine.

Michael Fitzmaurice said, "If a cull is to take place on the three mink farms in Ireland, then we must take the opportunity to eradicate the mink in the wild".

19, that environmental groups are concerned after COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in farmed mink in the USA and reports of a mutant coronavirus strain have been spreading from mink to humans in Denmark.

"Therefore, it has recommended that farmed mink in Ireland should be culled to minimise or eliminate this risk".

The statement said: "Mink farmers continue to operate in full compliance with all legislative and animal welfare requirements and have co-operated fully with these efforts".

Now the Department of Agriculture has informed the owners of three mink farms in Ireland that their mink are to be culled to halt the potential spread of a mutated form of the Covid-19.

"I need the prime minister to admit when she makes a mistake, it is her duty", added resistance leader Jakob Elleman-Jensen of the Liberal Party.

It did not specify how many people had tested positive. Health officials said the strain showed a lower sensitivity to antibodies, sparking fears that it could weaken the effectiveness of vaccines.

Poland, which is a major producer of mink fur, started coronavirus tests among its farmed minks and checks among the workers earlier this month after a mutated virus was detected in farmed minks in Denmark, leading to a nationwide cull there.

Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's regional director for Europe, described mink farms on Thursday as "a reservoir where the coronavirus is thriving".

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