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Fur farmers have lost thousands of minks in Utah due to COVID-19 during October. The deaths began in August when a ranch worker tested positive, and shortly after, the virus was discovered among the animals.
According to Dean Taylor, the state veterinarian, nearly 10,000 minks have died in the past two weeks at nine different fur farms. The virus was transmitted from humans to animals, and many believe that it is a meager chance for the minks to pass it to people. Utah was the first place in the United States to have an outbreak among minks.
The minks suffered respiratory distress similar to humans, with discharge from their eyes and nose, Taylor stated
It’s far easier to prevent it from happening, then stopping it from happening, once final testing is done we’re going to create a state plan to stop this virus from spreading to more farms
The illness wiped out 50 percent of the breeding colonies because the older animals were more vulnerable to the disease. The pelts from the minks that passed from the virus have been buried or incinerated. The state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies are working diligently to reduce the outbreak.
The United States Department of Agriculture reported that more than 50 animals in addition to minks have tested positive for the Coronavirus. The infection has been found in pet cats and dogs and lions and tigers at the zoo.
Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: 10,000 mink are dead in Covid-19 outbreaks at US fur farms after virus believed spread by humans; Cheri Mossburg and Brian Ries
The Hill: Thousands of farmed minks have died from COVID-19 in Utah; Aris Folley
ABC 4: Thousands of minks dead in coronavirus outbreak on Utah farms; JoNel Aleccia
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Inset Image Courtesy of Boston Public Library’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License