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Did Novel Coronavirus Come From Minks? Dutch Authorities Believe So

One measure to properly aid in curbing down rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases is to determine where they are coming from. To date, most have been focusing on humans, although some claim that the coronavirus could be originating from animals as well. Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence to support animal-to-human infection.

However, the first case may have just been reported. Dutch authorities are looking into a case where a mink may have transmitted the COVID-19 strain on to a farmworker since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China. According to a report from CNN, keepers at a mink-breeding farm could be linked to the pandemic. It was back in April when they noticed that some of the animals were having a hard time breathing. New research results believe that it is plausible to think that humans could get infected through minks.

EuroNews reported that the person who was infected by the COVID-19 virus had similar strains to an animal found in the area. The discovery is not new. Similar cases were discovered in two farms over at the Netherlands back in April. At the time, workers found several animals also having difficulty breathing. Most thought the infection was caused by humans. But a case now shows it may be the other way around.

The development has raised restrictions on mink farms. This includes stricter screening for all farms in the Netherlands and requiring employees to wear protective gear. Animals and manure on infected farms are banned from leaving their sites.

Aside from that, Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said that the outbreak could be linked to cats. At least one was found to test positive. Now, cats are barred and cannot enter the mink farm premises.

“These new research results have a major impact on the owners, families and employees of mink companies as well as on the local communities,” Schouten said.

COVID-19 transmission has been linked to animals but the recent one is the closest to proving the theory. Bats have been singled out as the likely culprit where it all started, although there have yet to be reported to support it.

Mink farm Owner Kristian Aasen holds a Mink at his fur farm Getty Images | Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

Animals have not been spared from contracting the coronavirus. In a previous post, it was reported how a tiger over at the Bronx Zoo was the first-ever confirmed case of COVID-19 of its kind. Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger tested positive for the coronavirus in April.

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