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Scientists study coronavirus outbreaks among minks in Europe

Coronavirus outbreaks at mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have scientists digging into how the animals got infected and if they can spread it to people.

8/2/2020 1:16:00 PM

Corona virus outbreak s at mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have scientists digging into how the animals got infected and if they can spread it to people.

MADRID (AP) — Corona virus outbreak s at mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have scientists digging into how the animals got infected and if they can spread it to people. In the meantime,...

MADRID (AP) — Coronavirus outbreaks at mink farms in Spain and the Netherlands have scientists digging into how the animals got infected and if they can spread it to people.In the meantime, authorities have killed more than 1 million minks at breeding farms in both countries as a precaution.

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The virus that first infected people in China late last year came from an animal source, probably bats, and later spread from person to person, as other coronaviruses had done in the past. Some animals, including cats, tigers and dogs, have picked up the new coronavirus from people, but there hasn’t been a documented case of animals spreading it back to humans.

ADVERTISEMENTThe outbreaks among the minks on the farms in the Netherlands and Spain likely started with infected workers, although officials aren’t certain. But it also is “plausible” that some workers later caught the virus back from the minks, the Dutch government and a researcher said, and scientists are exploring whether that was the case and how much of a threat such a spread might be.

The outbreak at the Spanish mink farm near La Puebla de Valverde, a village of 500 people, was discovered after seven of the 14 employees, including the owner, tested positive in late May, said Joaquín Olona, regional chief of agriculture and environment. Two other employees got infected even after the operation was shut down.

More than 92,000 minks were ordered killed at the farm in the Aragon region of northeastern Spain, with nine out of 10 animals estimated to have contracted the virus.After the Dutch outbreaks began in April, professor Wim van der Poel, a veterinarian who studies viruses at Wageningen University and Research, determined that the virus strain in the animals was similar to the one circulating among humans.

“We assumed it was possible that it would be transmitted back to people again,” the virus expert said, and that’s what appeared to have happened with at least two of the infected workers.Richard Ostfeld, a researcher at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, said that if confirmed, these would be the first known instances of animal-to-human transmission.

“With the evidence for farmed mink-to-human transmission, we definitely need to be concerned with the potential for domesticated animals that are infected to pass on their infection to us,” Ostfeld said by email.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says some coronaviruses that infect animals can be spread to humans and then spread between people,

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but it adds that this is rare.ADVERTISEMENTBoth the World Health Organization and the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health, are studying the transmission of the virus between animals and people. Several universities and research institutes also are examining the issue.

The WHO has noted that the transmission on the mink breeding farms could have happened both ways. But WHO’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said at a news conference last month that such transmission was “very limited.”“This gives us some clues about which animals may be susceptible to infection and this will help us as we learn more about the potential animal reservoir of (the virus),” she said, referring to cases in the Netherlands and Denmark, another major producer of mink fur.

While scientists think the virus originated in bats, it may have passed through another animal before infecting people. A WHO team is currently in China, planning to study the issue.More than 1.1 million minks have been killed on 26 Dutch farms that recorded outbreaks, according to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. The government announced Thursday that minks at a 27th farm also were infected and would be killed. The Netherlands, which has some 160 mink farms, is the world’s fourth-biggest producer of the prized fur after Denmark, China and Poland, according to Wim Verhagen, director of the Dutch federation of fur farmers. Spain has 38 active mink breeding operations, most of them in northwestern Galicia.

Both Spain and the Netherlands have tightened hygiene protocols at mink farms and banned transportation of the animals and visits to the buildings where they are kept.China, which produces about a third of the mink fur market, and the United States have not reported any virus outbreaks in minks or animals at other farms.

—-Corder reported from The Hague. Associated Press writers Maria Cheng in London and Ken Moritsugu in Beijing contributed. Read more: The Associated Press »

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Ban them altogether. Problem solved. How disgusting are these places...! Must be a PETA initiative Cruel farms Might want to ask cenkuygur。 We really need to separate people from animals already... It's 2020. WHY mink farms OnsOranje im disappointed these farms exist in your country. As if the poor little sods aren't suffering enough!

Disgusting practice. Shame on you Spain and Netherlands. mnrrntt Find out what they’re feeding in This is disgusting in this day and age! Should be banned! No surprise at all this has happened!! 🙈😥 Maybe scummy humans should leave animals alone . If you Stop abusing animals there wouldnt be any of these pandemics .

Cute little feckers. But they'd take you hand off. Farming mink, an adorable, intelligent creature, like they do is an abomination. The ugly owners dying from covid would only be karmic justice. more bs fake news. It seems like absolutely everything now has coronavirus! This is absolute bs. Ask yourself: what is the purpose of them printing a story like this? Does it really actually change ur life in any way to know this? its being done deliberately to make u mor fearful

I heard people use mink fur for false lashes Just terrible Very strange!! It’s ALMOST as if we shouldn’t treat living creatures so inhumanely by abusing them and forcing them to live in filthy environments solely for unnecessary vanity purposes and economic greed 🤔 ForgetfuP Just another reason to ban mink farms

Forget the virus just shut them down permanently anyway because they’re absolutely barbaric, cruel and evil. Are mink farms still allowed in these countries? ForgetfuP Poor minks Everyone is focused on these animals spreading the virus to humans but you're all missing the big picture. This virus is cross species, even if there is a vaccine for humans, you can't vaccinate every animal and you'll start to see species dying out and going extinct. Not good.

Hmmm. How can you wear those cute little guys? NO!! YOU MOTHERFUCKERS NOT THE MINKS 😭😭😭 Why does mink farms exist anyways, that should be the real question IDreamIn4D Poor minks. Fur coats should be outlawed. Fake fur is better. Because CCP poo at their farm. 🙉 Over a million animals culled? Those countries criticize Canadian fur trappers & seal hunters!? Clean-up your own back yards: China Denmark Netherlands Poland Russia US Who wears fur? You should be ashamed! Kudos: Austria Croatia UK CzechRepublic Norway Switzerland

Who the hell is wearing mink these days? ☠️☠️☠️ Killed one million minks as a precaution. Holy shit. I understand we have to take preemptive measures but to kill that many animals without proof of them spreading corona? Little crazy I knew it!!!! STOP KILLING ANIMALS. MINK FARMS SHOULD BE BANNED. FUCKFUR

This wouldn’t even be a thing if some people weren’t assholes who still wear something as archaic and horribly cruel as fur. So sad the Chinese have done this, it going to take years of research. We could be in a significant extinction event re: numerous species. I'd like to think not, but....damn! I'll never understand people's need to wear real fur. Its barbaric to kill animals so someone can strut around going look at me I'm rich I can wear a real mink coat. No animals should be killed for their fur it's sick and inhumane.

Good stop making the coats from the fur psychos When will people learn industrial farming/fur farms are full of diseases?! Who the hell buys mink anymore?! Stop it. Consider going vegetarian. Expands your lifeline on average by 7 years & is more eco friendly to not eat meat. they normally are treated so humanely too...

Do people actually wear mink any more? Free those animals! How people justify mink farms in their head in 2020 is beyond me. And then they justify they are going to a fictitious place called heaven as well. Wake the F up. Who gives a crap if they can spread it. How about you focus on banning inhumane mink farms and the problem is resolved.

Zoo logics yup 20 yEARS AGO NICE Ugh why are people still wearing fur? Those animals are so cute. Yet more utter zoonotic disease nonesense. Don't buy into this BS people! It is a hidden agenda to get everyone out of the countryside and into smart cities. NoMinkTesting Maybe if we just let the animals live free there wouldn't have been Coronavirus in the first place. Nature has a way of making humans pay for our greed and inhumaneness. Will we ever learn the lesson? First action close all furfarms. Close all WetMarkets. Stop the slaughter

Mink farms are real?! Why 😭😭😭 Why, in this day and age, are there mink farms? Surely we have moved beyond this sort of exploitation. Human beings the curse on this Earth Why on God’s green earth do mink farms still exist? Why in God's name do Mink Farms even exist?! Shameful!!! Do European people eat mink? It is a cute animal. You are so violent and brutal.

The virus will infect humans if it's really the same virus already infecting humans? The 'scientist' appear to be chasing their own tails because their test don't work. This means they can't even define covid 19 lol embarrassing science. 🤫 😢😢 I cant believe we still farm these poor animals in cages! minks

“More than 92,000 minks were ordered killed at the farm in the Aragon region of northeastern Spain, with nine out of 10 animals estimated to have contracted the virus. After the Dutch outbreaks began in April...” Since April, and it was kept quiet? Another reason not to house animals in this inhumane way We do not need mink parts....

Now I want a mink scarf or something. lets goooooooooooooooo Why are there still mink farms? 😭😭😭😭😭😭 Has China even stop the selling of dogs to eat & bats since coronavirus started? Has anybody even done anything about it yet? We need to stop selling a bunch together exotic animals so no new viruses get created💀☠🦠🧫🧪

CLOSE THEM DOWN ! Stop abusing animals like these poor minks. No one needs mink fur! Live animal markets spread disease. The pain and torture animals face because of humans selfish needs is unnecessary!! Please never buy fur and ideally stop eating meat. The world will be a much better place. 😢 Polak87497078 KACZOR ,TAM BYŁ ?!

Polak87497078 Kaczyńdki tamnył?! prayerfeathers Pretty certain PETA did it. They’ll kill millions to save one weasel. MILLIONS killed. Wtf are people still selling and buying fur? Boycott any store or designer selling fur. Disgusting. Leave the animals alone!!!!!!!!!! Who needs to wear mink coats any way? Decadent and destructive consumerism.

Humans must stop exploiting animals! Horrific animal abuse. The Ghana 🇬🇭 cases no one remember that 😂 Planet Of The Minks? Please stop torturing animals ... I q. G Gghgq9 Does this mean my coat is infected? Do Not Reply why do they have mink farms Yeah they are that condition because some plastic doll humans want fake eyelashes what more to say.

Don't let Cruella DeVille see these two. Coronavirus will be the least of their worries.😳 Mink farms? In these days, are people still wearing animal furs for warmth? No wonder nature is fighting back. COVID-2 might be just the start. With the amount of quality synthetic fur available, why do mink farms even exist if not for the rich to flaunt their extravagant wealth? EatTheRich

Here's a thought. Stop mink farming. Poor little minks Do you think now is a good time to shut down these mink farms! Here’s a solution: stop torturing animals in inhumane conditions for human greed. We need to stop abusing Animals!!😔 Wh-Why?!? For fuck sakes. FFS how about the world stop treating animals like shit. And also stop eating them that would be a big fucking step forward. vegan

Wait until you see how you all get your steaks and pork chops 🤣🤣🤣 Mother nature's Karma... No one needs fur but animal who died and sacrificed it.. hope it keeps spreading and ends this shit So we blame China for the coronavirus now scientists are looking at mink farms I don’t think anyone for sure know’s where it really came from.

Oh, mink farms. Those bastions of civilization where the fur is ripped off the animal while it’s still alive so some rich lady can have a nice coat. Personally, I hope the little guys infect as many people on the farm as possible. MinkFarms ? that's cruel. Where's peta Mink farms? In Spain? Unbelievable...

If you use mink eyelashes then you’re an asshole. Simple. No one needs to kill an animal for insane lashes that make you look like a plastic doll. There’s so many alternatives. Disgusting places where monsterous acts occur are often hotbeds of disease. How “thick” are we human beings!? When we take animals out of their natural habitat, force them into inhumane stressful conditions, their immune systems collapse & these novel viruses emerge. How about we make it illegal to factory farm, live export, mass produce animals? 🤔

Mink farms? 🤨 For eyelashes? And fur? The vanity of this world is disturbing. Those is 😞 So millions have been murdered in addition to all the billions already murdered for fur fashion? Got it. 💔😥 Karma That's what happens if you keep them in cages F*cking fur farms. What self-absorbed a**hole is still wearing fur in 2020?

The plural of mink is...mink, not minks MINK FARMS SHOULDN’T EXIST! this is so inhumane and cruel it’s disgusting! these animals have feelings and families and they’re adorable. this is DISGSTING! i hope they infect anyone who buys mink coats, lashes or products. you deserve it, you are not superior. buy vegan.

lindayueh The mink revenge Mink farms shouldn’t exist. Poor babies No culling should have happened until they knew yes or no! 😤😠😡🤬 FakeNews OMG, everyone commenting on this thread: mink farms exist for exactly the reason you think they do, and coronaviruses are a TYPE of virus that START in animals and are passed to people. 🤦🏼‍♀️ But if it takes an article like this to spread awareness & shutdown fur farms, cool.

All of you who feel sorry for the animals considering why they were captive aren't well in the head .nature did them a favor ,if anything be happy . Be scared of the animals and children everyone. They all have the ‘rona and you’re all going to have to go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect £200, and stop your life because of fear. 🙄

cryborg Somebody buy Ivanka a mink. These animals are destined to become someone's coat. Loathsome and despicable. looked up Mink in Google; 'Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae...' but read it as '...semiaquatic, caronavirus mammals'. Legit.

Why is this only just being done or reported on ? as if these poor animals haven't suffered enough. Why imprison them and kill them for their fur in the first place? So So Sad 😔 Get informed! Don't comply with tyranny this is the new world order in full force 👹 Poor animals. Do people in the comments not know where MINK eyelashes come from?!

Poor babies! No reason for this dez_blanchfield It doesn't need a rickety rocket scientist to draw the conclusion that WE are infecting animals! Only need scientists to test to determine if conclusion is correct. Why are there still mink farms? I don't know why it's such N issue or concern. Coronavirus has been in cattle for years. We vaccinate babies for it. None of that has ever been a concern before it came out of China. Why r they just looking at mink...

diannemando Pet ownership is much less common in Asia than in Europe and the US. LOL, they got infected from people. I'm not even a scientist and I know that. How am I faster than the 'scientists'? That should be impossible. When it gets into birds that's when the shlt will hit the fan. What a shameful practice,cruelty to animals.

The question is who is buying MINK FUR? If there's no demand there's no supply. Mink farms are a thing that people are okay with existing? Pretty obvious I would think.... Why did China quickly ban the importation of Salmon ? Why were traces of Covid19 found in the seafood preparation area in Wuhan.... What do minks eat....fish..... What is being injected or fed to farmed Salmon...and where is it coming from....

pxwhittle The animals. This guy could be carrying. WHAT!! Mink farms? And Corona definitely has spread to animals? Is there ever any good news. Poor animals... Just lovely.. Mink farms? Who the hell wears mink fur? Leave these animals alone! Why are people insisting on these farms? Nothing about this can be good.

Why are there still mink farms 🥺 Mink farms shouldn’t exist. Barbaric. That’s upsetting news. And so is the concept of “mink farms”. Why are there mink farms? I’m hoping its not what I’m dreading. can we address the climate change elephant in the room? We're gonna accelerate outbreaks by continued intrusion into wild spaces rather than conservation.

Obviously it’s the disgusting and inhumane conditions of commercial fur farms It doesn’t take a genius, that we are pissing away money on this study which will likely benefit these barbaric farms is an outrage SundayThoughts interesting! The fact that they have mink farms is just as disturbing. Why are there mink farms?

I’m going with they can until until scientists prove to me they can’t. watch it not be a virus 🙄 ...Maybe it's time to release the uninfected minks? Welp if they spread it to the mink farmers... 🤷‍♀️ karma A cat in UK tested positive and... now this?! ❤️🌸

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