SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory announced the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in mink in the United States Monday.
Five infected mink were identified at two Utah mink farms. SARS- CoV-2 is the animal virus linked to COVID-19 in humans.
The Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory completed necropsies on several dead animals from the two mink farms after the farms reported unusually high mortality rates in their mink populations. Utah officials said the affected mink farms have been completely quarantined to stop the spread of the virus.
The two affected Utah mink farms also reported cases of COVID-19 in their staff members, but officials maintain that there is currently no evidence that animals, including mink, play a significant role in transmitting the virus to humans.
Other species of animals within the United States have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but these are the first confirmed cases in mink in the U.S. Earlier this year the virus was detected internationally in mink in the Netherlands.