Denmark: Lockdowns as mutant mink COVID crosses back
Danish authorities have introduced a lockdown affecting large areas after the discovery a coronavirus mutation found in mink has spread back to humans. Bars, restaurants, public transport and all public indoor sports have closed in seven North Jutland municipalities. The restrictions came into effect from 6 November and initially last until 3 December. Denmark is also culling all its mink - as many as 17 million. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said last week that mink appear to be “good reservoirs” of coronavirus, after originally contracting the disease from infected humans. Coronavirus cases have been detected in other farmed mink in the Netherlands and Spain since the pandemic began in Europe. Cases are spreading fast in Denmark - 207 mink farms in Jutland are affected. Authorities said 12 people had been infected with the mutated strain. Meanwhile, Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke said about half of the 783 human cases reported in north Denmark related to a strain of the virus that originated in the mink farms. Originally transmitted from infected humans to the mink, genetic detective work has now shown that in a small number of cases, in the Netherlands and now Denmark, the virus seems to have passed the other way, from mink to humans. WHO has called on all countries to step up surveillance and tighten biosecurity measures around mink farms.
Read more: WHO statement. BBC News Online and related story. Science blog. Source: Risks 973.