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Wisconsin mink test positive for virus that causes COVID-19

In this Sept. 4, 2015 file photo, a mink sniffs the air as he surveys the river beach in search of food, in a meadow near the village of Khatenchitsy, northwest of Minsk, Belarus.
In this Sept. 4, 2015 file photo, a mink sniffs the air as he surveys the river beach in search of food, in a meadow near the village of Khatenchitsy, northwest of Minsk, Belarus.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 9:14 AM CDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - Dead mink at a farm in Northwestern Wisconsin tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. That’s the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the infection. It’s the first among Wisconsin’s mink population.

The NVSL confirmed the results after testing was conducted by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

All animals on the farm have been quarantined. No animal products can leave the farm at this time.

“As this is an active investigation, no information about the farm or parties involved will be released,” reads a statement from Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

This is not the first mink infection in the United States. Mink at a farm in Utah tested positive in August.

“There is currently no evidence that animals, including mink, play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to humans. However, people infected with the virus can spread it to mink and other animals,” reads a statement from DATCP.

DATCP, the DNR, Taylor County Health Department, Department of Health Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture are assisting the farm. They’re helping with carcass disposal, disinfecting animals areas, and protecting human and animal health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more studies are needed when it comes to how animals are affected by COVID-19.

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