Question Zoological Pandemic?! - Covid-19 now in wild mink. Which animals to watch out for next?!

Jul 27, 2020
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The BBC is reporting that a wild mink captured near a mink farm in Utah was infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). This is not good. There seems a reasonable probability that the virus will spread to other wild mink, and perhaps other wild animals.

We also know that cats can be infected, but are not believed to readily transmit the virus. It is now well known that mink can reinfect humans, so this transmission to a wild mink is somewhat worrisome.

What other animals do we need to worry about? Not good to have a reservoir of this virus running around out there in the wild even after most of us are vaccinated. Very bad, actually. The more chances it gets to mutate, the nastier it could become.

What to do, what to do.......


1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55309269
 
Jul 27, 2020
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Yes, it is very scary. And aside from reinfection from animals, transmission to other species could lead to more pathogenic strains by various routes of mutation. It is often how these horrible pathogens appear.

Having this virus circulating and replicating in other animals offers an excellent chance for antigenic shift (1), where two or more strains of a virus form a new phenotype. This is fairly common in influenza, and with this one, all bets are off on what could come out of that, except nothing good. Which is where the smart money would be.

The dumb money is still crying about masks, etc.

Anybody with ferrets should be very concerned (2). There are an estimated 6 million pet ferrets in the U.S.!

When one considers the level of viral spread throughout the country, it seems likely that many thousands of pet ferrets have already been exposed and infected.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigenic_shift


SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted via contact and via the air between ferrets

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7343828/



For more on this story, visit the article below on livescience.com :


 
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