Health officials in Canada have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a mink farm in British Columbia. Fraser Health—one of five publicly funded health care regions in the province—said in a statement that eight people at the farm had tested positive for the disease. Officials are screening several more employees as well as tracing the contacts of those that are infected. Operators of the farm located in Fraser Valley, which has not been identified, and affected staff are now self-isolating, according to Fraser Health. Scientists have found that minks are susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, with the animals capable of suffering a range of symptoms, including severe pneumonia. Minks kept on fur farms across several countries have caught the virus from infected employees. And in a small handful of cases, the virus appears to have made its way back into humans after having mutated. It is not currently clear whether any minks on the British Columbia farm have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, but the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture is now conducting tests of animals on site. Under the B.C. Animal Health Act, the mink farm—one of 14 in Fraser Valley—has been ordered to restrict the transport of animals,… Read full this story
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