September 25, 2022

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First cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in United States

First cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in United States



 

First cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in United States. 

The United States recently discovered the first cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19, and the CDC had previously delayed the release of relevant information.  

 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on April 18 that at least four people in Michigan have been infected with a new strain of the new coronavirus primarily observed in minks in 2020. It is also the first known case of possible animal-to-human transmission in the United States.

 

First cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in United States

 

 

However, in the process of identifying the “mink-to-human transmission” incident, the CDC was exposed to delay in publicizing the content of “suspected virus spread”. Experts have warned that the CDC’s approach hinders the ability of humans to effectively monitor the spread of the new coronavirus.

 

According to the “New York Times” report on April 18, two of the four infected people are mink farm employees, and two have no direct contact with the farm, a taxidermist and his wife. According to the analysis, this indicates that the new coronavirus strain on the mink at that time may have spread widely among residents in the area.

 

Bellavish, an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pointed out in an email on the 18th of this month that the new coronavirus samples collected from these four individuals contained two mutations, which scientists speculated that these two mutations had also appeared in minks before. .

 

In addition, Bellavish also analyzed that mink farm workers tested positive for the COVID-19 after the mink herd began to get sick and the mortality rate increased. This suggests that the workers likely became infected after coming into contact with minks on the farm. However, Bellavish also pointed out that there is no conclusive proof that the virus was transmitted to humans from minks. “Because there are very few gene sequences collected around the farm, it is not yet certain that the virus mutation came from minks.”

 

In fact, in October 2020, the United States conducted an investigation into the COVID-19 epidemic of mink in Michigan. At the time, two mink farm employees tested positive for the COVID-19 and had a virus mutation that was also present in the farm’s mink samples.

 

At the request of the state of Michigan, the CDC sent a team to assist in the investigation of the outbreak. It was not until March 2021 that the CDC released investigation information that a “small number of people” had been infected “with a unique mink-related variant of the coronavirus,” which “suggests that minks may have transmitted the virus to humans.” After more than years of analysis, the CDC has only recently preliminarily confirmed the “mink-to-human transmission” of the new coronavirus.

 

It is worth noting that the CDC may have been aware of minks transmitting the virus to humans as early as the end of 2020, but has delayed releasing this information. According to the National Geographic website of the United States on April 5, the latest batch of declassified US government documents disclosed the investigation of a “suspected COVID-19 virus spread incident” in Michigan, the United States at the end of 2020.

According to emails disclosed in declassified documents, the CDC knew at the end of 2020 that minks raised on a fur farm might have been infected with the new coronavirus and had spread, but it was not until March 2021 that the agency quietly updated its official website.

 

The researchers pointed out that the delay in publicizing this suspected viral spread may hinder the ability of humans to effectively monitor the spread of the new coronavirus. Experts have warned that the virus could mutate in another species and then infect humans as a more dangerous or infectious variant.

 

Scott Weiss, director of the Centre for Public Health at Goulver University in Canada, also said that the information on the suspected spread of the epidemic could have helped other countries improve surveillance and response measures.

 

 

 

First cases of mink-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in United States

(source:internet, reference only)


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