First case of the coronavirus detected in the wild
An infected wild mink was found in the “immediate vicinity” of a Utah fur farm that had an outbreak, officials say.
The first known case of the novel coronavirus in a non-captive wild animal has now been confirmed, according to an alert issued by the United States Department of Agriculture. A wild mink in Utah tested positive during screening of wildlife around fur farms with outbreaks, it says.
The strain of the virus in the wild mink is “indistinguishable” from that in infected mink on farms around the state, according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, the USDA division that conducted the tests.
In the U.S., coronavirus outbreaks have been documented at 16 mink farms in Utah, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Michigan, with the most cases in Utah. But until now, no wild mink cases had been detected, despite ongoing testing of mink,