WHO in touch with Denmark over mutated strain of COVID-19 detected in minks

ANI
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Representative Image

Copenhagen [Denmark], November 5 (ANI/Sputnik): The World Health Organization (WHO) is in touch with the Danish authorities to find out more about a new mutated version of the coronavirus detected in minks that can be transmitted to humans, a WHO spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Sputnik on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told reporters that a mutated strain of the coronavirus was detected at mink farms in the North Jutland region. According to the official, the mutated virus can be transmitted to humans -- it has already been detected in several people -- and compromise the effectiveness of future COVID-19 vaccines. As a precautionary measure, up to 17 million minks will be culled to protect people.

"We have been informed by Denmark of a number of persons infected with coronavirus from mink, with some genetic changes in the virus. The Danish authorities are investigating the epidemiological and virological significance of these findings, and culling the mink population. We are in touch with them to find more about this incident," the spokesperson said.

Apart from Denmark, which is the world's biggest producer of mink fur, COVID-19 cases have been detected at mink farms in the Netherlands and Spain earlier this year. The authorities in both countries also responded by launching a policy of animal culling at infected farms. (ANI/Sputnik)