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Mink on farm in B.C.’s Fraser Valley test positive for COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Mutation concerns rise over COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. mink farm' Mutation concerns rise over COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. mink farm
(Dec. 7) A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a mink farm in one of British Columbia's pandemic hotspots. Robin Gill explains why it's sparking concerns about a potentially dangerous viral mutation – Dec 7, 2020

Mink from a farm in B.C.’s Fraser Valley have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, the B.C. government says.

Five of the animals were tested after several farm employees tested positive over the weekend.

On Wednesday, the province said the positive results in the mink were expected “considering the interaction between infected workers and mink on the farm.”

More testing is needed to determine genome sequencing, with further results are expected in the coming week.

WATCH: Dr. Bonnie Henry announces mink farm outbreak in Monday’s COVID-19 briefing

Click to play video: 'B.C. officials report 2,020 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 35 additional deaths' B.C. officials report 2,020 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 35 additional deaths
B.C. officials report 2,020 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 35 additional deaths – Dec 7, 2020

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak at B.C. mink farm raises concerns about virus mutation

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The farm, which has not been identified, has been placed under a quarantine order by B.C.’s chief veterinarian, meaning there can be no movement of animals or materials from the property.

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The outbreak is not considered to pose a health risk to other mink farms, the government said, and the property was found to be in compliance with all animal welfare and biosecurity standards in an inspection in September.

On Wednesday, B.C.’s top doctor, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said they do not believe the COVID-19 vaccines will become ineffective if the virus mutates as officials have seen in other countries.

Millions of the animals have been culled in countries such as Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark after a strain of the virus was passed from humans to mink, then back to humans in a mutated form.

Cases have also been identified on mink farms in the United States.

There are 60 such farms in Canada but so far, officials here do not believe a cull is necessary.

 

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