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Oregon mink farm, staff infected in COVID-19 outbreak

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November 28, 2020 | 10:27pm

COVID-19 has found its way to an Oregon mink farm, where both staff and animals are getting infected, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the virus in 10 samples it received from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the state veterinarian, Dr. Ryan Scholz, put the farm under quarantine until further notice.

“We have been engaged with the Oregon mink industry for some time, providing information on biosecurity to prevent the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 and were ready to respond,” Scholz said.

“The farmer did the right thing by self-reporting symptoms very early and he is now cooperating with us and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) in taking care of his animals and staff.

“So far, we have no reports of mink mortalities linked to the virus but that could change as the virus progresses.”

COVID-19 has been found on farms in three other states, including Utah, where 8,000 minks were lost to the virus, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Outbreaks have also occurred on farms in the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Denmark, where the virus forced the slaughter of 17 million mink.

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