Coronavirus outbreak hits Oregon mink farm

At least 10 minks tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is linked to COVID-19 in humans

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An outbreak of COVID-19 has hit an Oregon mink farm, infecting the animals and the workers.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed the outbreak in a news release Friday.

The release stated that the National Veterinary Service Laboratory tested 10 minks for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the results came back positive. SARS-CoV-2 is the “animal virus linked to COVID-19 in humans,” according to the Oregon government agency.

Dr. Ryan Scholz, an ODA veterinarian, says the farmer self-reported the symptoms “very early” and is cooperating with the ODA, sending himself and staff into self-quarantine.

A mink at a farm where all minks must be culled due to a government order on November 7, 2020 in Bording, Denmark. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

“We have been engaged with the Oregon mink industry for some time, providing information on biosecurity to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 and were ready to respond,” Scholz explained.

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The ODA has been monitoring coronavirus outbreaks on minks on farms in several locations around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed positive cases in minks in the following seven countries: The United States, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Denmark.

In addition to Oregon, SARS-CoV-2 has been found on mink farms in three other states in America, including Utah, Michigan, and Wisconsin. CNN reports that Utah and Wisconsin have had over 10,000 mink deaths from coronavirus.

Scholz says no minks on the Oregon farm have died due to contracting the virus.

READ MORE: World Health Org. confirms COVID-19 came from animals and not lab

The CDC has acknowledged that SARS-CoV-2 in bats may have led to the first human infection at the onset of the global pandemic, but sustain that animal-to-human spread of the virus is rare.

“At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” according to the CDC official site.

According to National Geographic, the first case of an animal testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 happened in New York City. Several lions and tigers tested positive at the Bronx Zoo in April.

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