More than 100 SARS-CoV-2 infected mink may have escaped from Danish fur farms, raising the risk that these escapees could spread the novel coronavirus to wild animals, creating a new reservoir for the virus, The Guardian reported.
“Every year, a few thousand mink escape,” and this year, an estimated 5% of these escaped animals may have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, Sten Mortensen, veterinary research manager at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, told The Guardian.
These mink may be spreading the coronavirus to wild animals, even as millions of mink still on farms are being culled to prevent spread of the virus.
After several hundred farms reported SAR-CoV-2 infections among their mink, the Danish government ordered that all mink in the country should be culled, to prevent further spread of the virus.
More than 10 million of Denmark’s roughly 17 million mink have already been culled.
No new cases of the mutant mink virus have cropped up in the past two weeks — but now, authorities warn that the virus may still be spreading, unnoticed, in the wild.