Positive Cases Of SARS-CoV-2 Found At Two Utah Mink Farms
When two Utah mink farms began experiencing unusually high mortality rates among their minks, animal samples were sent to the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Logan Utah.
Dr. Dean Taylor, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s State Veterinarian said after performing necropsies on the animals, it seemed likely the animals could have had the SARS-CoV-2 virus, so tissues samples were sent to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab.
“For that to be a positive diagnosis in the country that has to be confirmed through the National veterinary services laboratory," said Dr. Taylor. "And they report out to the World Health Organization, but nothing Emerging disease like fat or a form animal disease. They are not considered a confirmed positive until they do the testing themselves.”
Symptoms for the SARS-CoV-2 virus can vary in animals, but Dr. Taylor said they are similar to the symptoms a human may experience with COVID-19. Mink won’t always appear ill he says, often an increased death rate among the animals will be the only sign.
According to the CDC, there is very low risk of the virus spreading from animals to humans, however the farms are still taking precautions to reduce the chance of a potential spread.
“So anybody that is not required on the premise for a means of caring for these make and making sure that they're cared for in their wellbeing their mat is not allowed on the farm and those that deliver on the farm are using biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of that as much as possible, much like we do on any other of our livestock industries,” Dr. Taylor said.
More research is being done on where these animals picked up the disease and the transmission of it.