COVID-19 doesn’t just kill humans. In Utah, officials believe the mass deaths of minks at mink farms have links to COVID-19. They think human handlers may have passed the virus to the animals. In just two weeks, Utah reports that 10,000 minks have died.
COVID-19 and Minks
According to Gizmodo, the dead minks came from nine fur farms in Utah. The data also came from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). Moreover, the UDAF said that the dead minks suffered respiratory symptoms before dying. These symptoms, like runny noses and eye discharges, also happen to people with COVID-19. Similarly, old minks are more likely to die of the virus.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) October 12, 2020
COVID-19 on Animals
Scientists have known for months that minks, weasels, and ferrets can get sick of COVID-19. They also knew that humans could infect these animals. However, scientists have learned that weasels are more likely to suffer severe illnesses from COVID-19.
COVID-19 has also hit other mink farms, besides Utah. In Europe, fur farms in Spain and the Netherlands had to cull 1 million minks to stop the infection. The Utah farms have yet to destroy any animals because of the outbreaks.
Moreover, the UDAF has teamed up with the CDC and other federal agencies to help out the mink farmworkers. Mainly, the UDAF wants to train these workers and give them PPEs.
Can Minks Infect Humans?
Thankfully, Gizmodo says that these mink deaths do not pose a threat to humans. The CDC believes that infected minks could not pass the virus back to people. However, it’s also likely that COVID-19 came from an animal source, like bats.