September 19, 2021

Photo Credits: AFP

Six countries report connection between Covid-19 cases and mink farms :WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) stated Denmark and United States are from the six countries that have recorded new Covid-19 positive cases which are having connection with the mink farms.

In an official statement, WHO stated Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain are the other four nations who have discovered SARS-CoV-2 in minks.

Denmark had implemented stringent measures on the northern parts of the country post giving a warning regarding the mutation of the virus and that transmission has happened from mink to humans infecting 12 humans. Copenhagen has passed a clear caution regarding the mutation of the virus which has the potential to tarnish the efficacy of any potential Covid-19 vaccine, thereby issued the order of slaughtering 15-17 million minks in the country.

According to scientists, virus mutation is a common phenomenon and sometimes, harmless, and that the mink mutation does not invoke much harm to the humans.

Though Danish authorities have revealed that this strain, “Cluster 5” is not constrained by antibodies with the same efficacy as the normal virus, which puts forth the fear about the vaccine turning out be ineffective.

WHO stated on Friday, “Initial observations suggest that the clinical presentation, severity and transmission among those infected are similar to that of other circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses.”

WHO further gave a warning, “However, this variant… the ‘cluster 5’ variant, had a combination of mutations, or changes that have not been previously observed. The implications of the identified changes in this variant are not yet well understood.”

Regarding the link with minks, the UN agency stated the elementary findings indicate this mink associated variant will have “moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies.”

WHO has directed for further research and studies for validating the primary data and “to understand any potential implications of this finding in terms of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines in development”. WHO reported, “Although the virus is believed to be ancestrally linked to bats, its origin and intermediate host(s) of SARS-CoV-2 have not yet been identified.”

Denmark has recorded 214 human cases of Covid-19 linked with mutated SARS-CoV-2 variants with farmed minks, with 12 cases having the new variant as reported on November 5.

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