Hundreds of mink die from coronavirus at Wisconsin farm – WISN Milwaukee

State officials say hundreds of mink have died from the coronavirus on a Wisconsin farm.Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in WisconsinThe Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources made the announcement Thursday morning.The outbreak happened at a mink farm in Medford, in Taylor County.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deployed a team to ensure it is contained.There are dozens of mink farms in Wisconsin.”The animal deaths are in the hundreds,” DNR representative Kevin Hoffman said. “I’m sure we’ll get more updates on that. But what we’re doing there is separating animals.”The discovery was made last week by a veterinarian working for the farmers.”There was an increase in death loss, which was more than usual,” Hoffman said. “So that raised some bells and the animals were sent for testing and that’s how the positive was found.”The UW-Madison Veterinary Diagnostic Lab was on the lookout for COVID spreading to farm animals — especially mink and ferrets, appear to be very susceptible to catching the virus from humans. “We went up Friday afternoon and grabbed samples in the Medford area and had them tested,” said Dr. Keith Paulson with the UW-Madison Veterinary School Diagnostic Laboratory. “There’s significant mortality in the mink. The people that work on the farm, there’s three people that work on the farm, they’ve seemed to recover, they had mild to moderate clinical signs.”The case raises questions a lot closer to home about house pets.If mink can catch COVID from people, can other household animals?And can pets transfer it to humans?”Dogs can carry it,” Paulson said. “We can find it in their oral nasal secretions or sometimes in their fur in very low numbers. But we don’t consider them a significant risk.”Farm workers are composting the dead mink on site. “It’s extremely difficult to treat, and we need to make sure that we’re handling all of the animals, sick and well, in a humane manner,” Paulson said.The farm is now under quarantine.Last month, as many as 8,000 mink died from the coronavirus at a farm in Utah.Veterinary medicine researchers are working on a COVID vaccine for mink, as well as one for dogs and cats. They said the best way to keep animals from contracting the virus is to keep humans from getting it in the first place.Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISNGet breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

State officials say hundreds of mink have died from the coronavirus on a Wisconsin farm.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources made the announcement Thursday morning.

The outbreak happened at a mink farm in Medford, in Taylor County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deployed a team to ensure it is contained.

There are dozens of mink farms in Wisconsin.

“The animal deaths are in the hundreds,” DNR representative Kevin Hoffman said. “I’m sure we’ll get more updates on that. But what we’re doing there is separating animals.”

The discovery was made last week by a veterinarian working for the farmers.

“There was an increase in death loss, which was more than usual,” Hoffman said. “So that raised some bells and the animals were sent for testing and that’s how the positive was found.”

The UW-Madison Veterinary Diagnostic Lab was on the lookout for COVID spreading to farm animals — especially mink and ferrets, appear to be very susceptible to catching the virus from humans.

“We went up Friday afternoon and grabbed samples in the Medford area and had them tested,” said Dr. Keith Paulson with the UW-Madison Veterinary School Diagnostic Laboratory. “There’s significant mortality in the mink. The people that work on the farm, there’s three people that work on the farm, they’ve seemed to recover, they had mild to moderate clinical signs.”

The case raises questions a lot closer to home about house pets.

If mink can catch COVID from people, can other household animals?

And can pets transfer it to humans?

“Dogs can carry it,” Paulson said. “We can find it in their oral nasal secretions or sometimes in their fur in very low numbers. But we don’t consider them a significant risk.”

Farm workers are composting the dead mink on site.

“It’s extremely difficult to treat, and we need to make sure that we’re handling all of the animals, sick and well, in a humane manner,” Paulson said.

The farm is now under quarantine.

Last month, as many as 8,000 mink died from the coronavirus at a farm in Utah.

Veterinary medicine researchers are working on a COVID vaccine for mink, as well as one for dogs and cats.

They said the best way to keep animals from contracting the virus is to keep humans from getting it in the first place.

Sign up for coronavirus email alerts from WISN

Get breaking news alerts with the WISN 12 app.
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