More than 10,000 minks have recently died of the coronavirus at fur farms in Utah and Wisconsin, months after the discovery of the first infected minks in the United States.
At least 8,000 minks in Utah have died of the virus after farmworkers appear to have passed the pathogen to the animals, CNN reported. State veterinarian Dean Taylor told CNN that so far there have been no cases of minks transmitting the coronavirus to humans.
“We genuinely don’t feel like there is much of a risk going from the mink to the people,” he told Kaiser Health News.
Taylor added that the virus seems to be deadlier for older minks than younger minks, just as it is more lethal in older humans. He told KHN that most of the deaths were in minks ages 1 to 4.
In Wisconsin, officials announced Thursday that dead minks at a Taylor County farm had tested positive for the coronavirus. The infections were the first confirmed cases among minks in the state.
More than 2,000 minks have died, Kevin Hoffman, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, told The Washington Post. He said authorities had not yet determined the source of the outbreak but believe that it probably came from a human.
Minks were found to be susceptible to the coronavirus in April, when outbreaks were reported at several farms in the Netherlands. Mink farms in Denmark and Spain were later also affected.