The Lithuanian Health Agency said Thursday that it had detected the first cases of coronavirus among minks after examining 22 deaths from the mink virus on a farm in central Lithuania and testing them positive for Covid-19.
The farm director told local media that trials on the 60,000 mink farm began after the minks began to die unexpectedly and the farm now suspects that the mink contracted the virus from an infected worker.
“At the moment the farm is isolated, but we were told to discard only 40 minks that were in close contact with the infected. The rest are under close supervision, and any decisions will be made as the situation develops, ”said a spokesman for the health agency.
Denmark said last week that a new mutated strain of coronavirus, originating from mink farms in the country, is “likely” to be extinct.
All farmed minks in Denmark have been killed due to outbreaks of coronavirus in animals, and the discovery of a mutated strain that authorities said showed reduced sensitivity to antibodies raised concerns that it could jeopardize vaccines.
France and Poland also detected the first cases of COVID-19 in mink this week.