For First Time, a Wild Animal Found to Have Coronavirus

Wild mink in Utah found to be infected
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2020 12:12 AM CST
COVID Found in Wild Utah Mink
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / MikeLane45)

Minks in Denmark have been a big problem during the pandemic, and 15,000 farmed minks have been killed by the coronavirus in the US so far. Now, the Department of Agriculture announced Monday that a wild mink in Utah has been found to have the coronavirus—the first confirmed case of the virus in a wild animal, Reuters reports. The USDA discovered the case during routine surveillance of the wildlife around infected farms; other species were also tested and found to be negative.

"There is currently no evidence that SARS-COV-2 is circulating or has been established in wild populations surrounding the infected mink farms," the International Society for the Infectious Diseases says in a statement. But the Humane Society is citing the case as a reason to end mink farming in the US, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Domesticated cats and dogs, as well as zoo animals, have also been infected. (Like these snow leopards.)

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