The u.s. Department of Agriculture Announcing It Discovered a Utah Mink that Tested Positive for Covid-19, Becoming the First Wild Animal in the u.s. to Do So.

December 16, 2020
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To our knowledge, this is the 1st free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with SARS-CoV-2.

  • According to the USDA, about 120 animals (minks, dogs, cats, lions, tigers & 1 snow leopard) have been infected with COVID-19 since the first animal (a tiger at a NYC zoo) tested positive in April. Nearly all of them had confirmed (or likely) contact with a human infected with COVID-19.
  • All of the other animals were domesticated or lived in a zoo, farm, or similar setting. The Utah mink is the first *wild* animal to test positive for COVID-19, according to the USDA.
  • It’s not clear how this mink was infected. In recent months, several Utah farm minks tested positive for COVID-19, however the USDA says there’s “currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating or has been established in wild populations surrounding the infected mink farms,” but that the wild mink’s test results showed it’s infected with a strain of COVID-19 “indistinguishable” from that of nearby farmed minks.

by Jenna Lee,