COVID-19 outbreak at mink farm in Canada infects eight people

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Eight people have been infected by a COVID-19 outbreak on a mink farm in Canada, health officials said.

The cluster was detected at the farm in Fraser Valley, which is east of Vancouver, Canadian outlet CBC reported.

The infected farm operators and staffers are self-isolating along with their close contacts, according to the Fraser Health Authority.

It’s unclear how the virus was transmitted, but some mink are being sent to National Center for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg for testing, the outlet reported.

The outbreak comes after some 17 million minks were slaughtered in Denmark over fears of COVID-19 transmission.

The World Health Organization said the minks there contracted the illness after exposure to infected humans.

“Minks can act as a reservoir of [COVID-19] passing the virus between them, and pose a risk for virus spill-over from mink to humans,” the agency said. 

In the US, there have been also been reports of mink outbreaks, including in Utah, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The US Department of Agriculture said mink farms in Utah had endured “deaths in numbers they’d never seen before” as a result of the virus, Science reported.

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