France excludes mutated coronavirus in mink farm case

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FILE PHOTO: A mink is seen at the farm of the representative of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Fur Breeders Konstantinos Chionos in the village of Mikrokastro, Greece, November 14, 2020. REUTERS / Alexandros Avramidis / File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – A coronavirus outbreak detected last month at a mink farm in France has not implicated a mutated strain of the virus, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

Denmark’s discovery of a variant form of the new coronavirus that has passed from humans to mink and humans has led the country to slaughter all of its 17 million farmed mink.

The epidemic in France led the authorities to slaughter all the mink farm animals in the Eure-et-Loir region south-west of Paris.

“The sequencing analysis of the virus discovered on the Eure-et-Loir farm allows us to exclude any contamination by a variant of SARS-COV-2,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.

The SARS-COV-2 virus causes the disease COVID-19.

The most likely cause of the French outbreak was transmission to mink from infected humans, the ministry said.

No case of coronavirus has been detected in the other three mink farms in France, he added.

Report by Gus Trompiz and Sybille from La Hamaide; Editing by Mark Potter

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