A Utah Mink Has COVID-19, the First Known Case in a Wild Animal
A mink in Utah has tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the first known case of COVID-19 detected in a “free-ranging, native wild animal,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday. The case was discovered while the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was testing animals living around infected mink farms in Utah, Michigan, and Wisconsin. “There is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating or has been established in wild populations surrounding the infected mink farms,” a press release stated. “Several animals from different wildlife species were sampled, but all others tested negative.” Farmed minks in crowded living conditions have proven susceptible to the virus. A farm in Oregon reported having 12,000 infected minks, while in Denmark, at least a dozen people contracted the disease after a mutated COVID-19 strain spread from the critters to humans. The Scandinavian country has exterminated an eye-popping 17 million minks in response to the outbreak.