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Denmark reports 214 cases of mink-related coronavirus

Mutated version of coronavirus jumps from minks to humans

Rabia Iclal Turan   | 06.11.2020
Denmark reports 214 cases of mink-related coronavirus

ANKARA

A mink-related version of novel coronavirus has been detected in 214 people in Denmark since June, according to a report by the country’s State Serum Institute.

The institute, which deals with infectious diseases, released a report on its website Friday, saying that "Cluster 5 virus" was found on five mink farms and in 12 samples in August and September.

Denmark will kill its entire mink population after the mutated version of the virus was detected in the Nordic country, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday.

The new version of the virus transferring from minks to humans could adversely influence the effectiveness of a future vaccine, Frederiksen added.

She said the government has informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of the development and the WHO said it is “checking on” the information.

A WHO spokesperson said: "We have been informed by Denmark of a number of persons infected with the coronavirus from minks, with some genetic changes in the virus.

“The Danish authorities are investigating the epidemiological and virological significance of these findings and culling the mink population. We are in touch with them to find more about this event," the spokesperson noted.

Majority of the cases have been detected in the northern part of Jutland, Denmark, the world's biggest producer of mink fur.

The wild European mink is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature among the critically endangered species due to an ongoing reduction in its numbers.

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