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Oregon mink tested positive for coronavirus in a wild test, raising concerns about “mutant strains”



The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday that the Oregon mink caught in the wild this month tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mink was arrested on December 13 near a mink farm in Oregon, which was quarantined after the COVID-19 outbreak in November. State and federal wildlife officials believe that the trapped mink recently escaped from the farm.

ODA State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz said in a statement: “There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is spreading or has been established in the wild.” “Some [trapped] Animals from different species were sampled and all other animals were negative. Nevertheless, we still attach great importance to this situation and continue to investigate and trap near the farm. “

Lori Ann Burd, director of environmental health at the Center for Biodiversity, believes the state̵

7;s response is reassuring.

She said: “Infected minks can even escape from isolated fur farms, which makes it incredible that wild animals are at risk of contracting the virus, which is incredible.” “Although I hope this COVID-19 The case is limited to a mink that they tested in the field, but we know that this virus is highly contagious, and this kind of cases will rapidly increase to many.”

In the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the infection of mink fur is a shortcoming, but the problem is getting worse. The virus has killed 300,000 Americans this year. After announcing in November that 12 people had been infected with a mutated COVID-19 strain that had spread from mink to humans, Denmark announced that it would kill all 17 million minks raised there.

In an Oregonian/OregonLive guest column earlier this month, Burd warned that infected minks on quarantined Oregon farms would not only “spread the virus among wild minks, but also produce mutated virus strains that might endanger our new The harm of the cast vaccine.”

She said this week that Oregon regulators must “pretend that they have everything in control when everything cannot be separated from the facts.”

In November, 10 samples of mink skins from the Oregon quarantine farm tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which can cause human COVID-19. Mink is believed to be infected with human viruses. Some workers on the farm also tested positive for the coronavirus. State officials have not disclosed the location of the farm.

Oregon has 11 licensed mink farms with a total of nearly 500,000 animals. The Salem-based agricultural newspaper Capital Press reported that eight mink farms in Oregon are in Marion County, two in Krathorpe County, and one in Lynn County.

ODA reported this week that the mink on the quarantined Oregon farm “has now been clear of the virus.” State officials said the animals will undergo another round of testing before the farm restrictions are lifted.

The mink’s open fishing season begins on November 15 in Oregon.

-Douglas Perry

dperry@oregonian.com

@douglasmperry




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