Human beings arent the only animals at risk from dying of covid-19, it appears. In recent weeks, the state of Utah has actually been handling mass die-offs at mink farms that health authorities think are connected to the viral pandemic– outbreaks that likely started from contact with contaminated human handlers. Far, almost 10,000 minks in Utah are thought to have actually passed away throughout these break outs in the span of two weeks.
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Far, no minks in Utah have been killed as a precaution during these current outbreaks, though impacted farms have actually enacted quarantines.
According to Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), these deaths have actually been concentrated among 9 fur farms in the state. Soon before passing away, UDAF veterinarian Dean Taylor told NBC News, these minks experience respiratory signs like problem breathing or runny noses and eye discharge, comparable to what takes place in people ill with covid-19. Similar to individuals, older minks appear to be more vulnerable to passing away from the coronavirus, he added.
For months now, scientists have understood that minks and other weasels, like ferrets, can end up being infected with the coronavirus that triggers covid-19, and that they can capture it from infected people. Unlike cats, canines, and other animals that the virus has infected through human contact, however, weasels seem to be specifically susceptible to more serious health problem. Thats made these animals an useful design for studying the virus outside of a petri dish in the lab, but its likewise made them an easy target for the infection in the real life.
Utahs outbreaks are not the very first to have actually hit mink farms. Far, no minks in Utah have been eliminated as a precaution throughout these recent outbreaks, though affected farms have enacted quarantines.
As alarming as these outbreaks have actually been for the mink market, the threat to people appears to be low. Though people can spread out the virus to minks and other animals, the danger of these animals then spreading the infection back to other susceptible people is believed to be extremely low, according to the CDC.
In recent weeks, the state of Utah has been dealing with mass die-offs at mink farms that health officials think are connected to the viral pandemic– outbreaks that likely started from contact with contaminated human handlers. Far, nearly 10,000 minks in Utah are believed to have actually passed away during these outbreaks in the period of two weeks.
That stated, the original strain of the coronavirus that ended up being accountable for covid-19 likely originated from an unknown animal source, possibly bats.
A mink that was released from a reproducing center in the eastern German town of Grabow by an unknown group in October 2007. Image: Jen Schlueter/DDP/AFP (Getty Images).