A wild mink in its natural habitat

Denmark announced its plan to cull its mink population in farms after the discovery of a new coronavirus mutation from minks.

The mutation can spread to humans, reports said. 

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a press conference on Wednesday that the new mutation has already infected 12 people, per the Guardian.

She added that the animal is now a public health risk.

Moreover, it may pose a danger to the efficacy of a future vaccine for COVID-19

The prime minister added that the discovery of the mutation means Denmark now has an “even greater responsibility for the rest of the world,” per Reuters.

In fact, the World Health Organization(WHO) is now in dialogue with Danish authorities to find out more about the situation. 

Moreover, Denmark will deploy its police, army, and home guard to facilitate and speed up the culling in mink farms, said Frederiksen. 

Denmark is home to 15 million and 17 million minks making it the world’s largest producer of mink furs. 

Breeders and authorities have been culling the animals for weeks now to contain the spread of the mutation, reports said.

A trio of farmed minks in their cage

What Else You Need to Know About the Mink Situation

Mink farms, according to Anders Fomsgaard, a chief physician at the Statens Serum Institut, can become “virus factories” for the new mutation, per the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).

Another reason for this aggressive action against the mink population is the risk of mutations, said the Statens Serum Institut. 

Formsgaard added that “some mutations” of viruses that occur in mink farms in Denmark might affect humans. 

According to a TV2 report, the infected people showed reduced sensitivity to antibodies.

Moreover, the effect can affect future COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy on infected persons. 

“It is the vaccines that must ‘save us’” to return to normal, said Formsgaard. 

However, if the new mutation persists, it will result in bigger problems in the future.  

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