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Already before, employees of mink farms in the netherlands had been infected, scientists have proven this by genome analyses
Last week, the danish government ordered the culling of all mink on the farms, believed to number up to 17 million, after the sars-cov-2 virus was found to have jumped to mink and back to humans. 12 people are believed to have been infected by the mink, including four living in the vicinity of more than 200 infected mink farms. Dangerous it may be because it is a new strain (cluster 5) that supposedly cannot be fought with the vaccines now being developed, but it is said to be no more dangerous than the viruses now circulating among humans (mutated coronavirus: is a new wuhan emerging in northern denmark?).
Already in june, infections had occurred for the first time in several animals and one employee from a mink farm in jutland. Here, too, it was suspected that the virus had been transmitted from humans to the minks, and all 16,000 animals were killed.000 animals were killed.
It is known that hosts of sars-cov-2 can also be other mammals such as cats, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits or dogs. However, the fact that humans are infected by animals has so far only been proven in minks. In denmark, the spread of sars-cov-2, which is thought to have first jumped from bats or perhaps cooters to humans as new hosts in china, did not first occur in minks. Already in april this had been discovered in the netherlands in 16 breeding farms. Mass culling was ordered here as well.
The who says that mink transmission to humans has been registered in mink farms in denmark, spain, sweden, italy and the netherlands. There is no known increase in the risk of infection or danger with this new strain, he said. It is clear with the mink farms that factory farming is a breeding ground for the transfer of viruses from humans to animals and back to humans.
This casts a different light on the amption that the covid 19 pandemic jumped from a live animal market in wuhan to humans. It is possible that the virus has been circulating among humans for a long time, then jumped to bats and mutated there, and then more dangerously jumped to humans again.
Evidence by genome analysis
Dutch scientists have found through genome analysis that viruses have jumped from minks to employees. When viruses change hosts, priming prere occurs, leading to mutation and the evolution of new strains. The human immune system, which can fight off sars-cov-2 through vaccination or prior illness, would then potentially be unprotected, leading to a new epi- or pandemic.
The dutch study was published in science. The scientists ame that the virus was introduced by the employees in the mink farms and changed there with the spread among the minks. Pcr or antibody tests were done on 97 employees, and 66 or 68 percent were positive. Before the outbreak, during interviews, several employees said they had symptoms suggestive of covid 19 infection, so infected employees may have brought the virus to the minks. Human gene sequences were found in the genome of the virus from the minks.
At several mink farms, initial tests of employees were negative in early may, and then they developed symptoms and tested positive for the virus in late may, leading scientists to conclude that the infection originated in the minks. They were able to prove this with genome analysis, because the viruses in humans had animal sequences. According to studies of the local population, they were not found to be at increased risk, unlike the employees.
Normally, sars-cov-2 mutates about once every two weeks. The viruses on the farms showed a high diversity, indicating that they have already infected minks for a long time and perhaps mutations happen faster there, especially since they are kept in high density. However, it has not been possible to determine when the first infections of mink by humans occurred. Despite increased biosecurity measures, early detection and immediate mass killing on infected farms after the initial discoveries, there have been large transmission clusters with unknown modes of transmission in the netherlands.
Denmark: order of mass killing of all mink was not covered by law
In denmark, the order ied on 4. November ordered mass culling of all mink and the ban on mink breeding until 2022 but now ran into difficulties. During the corona crisis, governments have already become accustomed to moving quickly with orders and bypassing parliaments.
It came to light that the danish government had no legal basis to enforce a mass cull of mink outside risk areas. This admitted prime minister mette frederiksen on tuesday. Only on tuesday, the ministry of agriculture had informed the breeders in a second letter, although the missing legal basis was already known over the weekend. Now, for starters, mink farms with no infections must not kill their animals if they are located more than 7.8 km from an infected farm.
However, by 16. November create the legal basis that the mink on these farms must also be killed. Minister of agriculture mogens jensen had still explained on tuesday that he had not known that there was no legal authority to kill all mink. On sunday, he had still pointed out the urgency, which is why you can not wait for new legislation. Prere is now building within the governing coalition to dismiss the minister.