Infection has been proven among mink on more than 200 Danish mink farms.
The virus is a mutation that is quite different from the most widespread corona variants in society in general.
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says that she now fears that the mutation is so different from the other variants, that the corona vaccine will not work.
– The worst case scenario is that we have a pandemic that starts all over again based in Denmark, says Kåre Mølbak, director of the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, which corresponds to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
– The virus mutates in mink, and the virus spreads to humans, says Frederiksen.
She says that part of the reason is that five virus mutations have now been found in mink that are more resistant to antibodies than other corona variants.
– The Statens Serum Institut has assessed that with the mutation of corona that we now see in North Jutland, we may risk that the effect of the upcoming vaccine will be weakened, or in the worst case will not be, says Frederiksen.
She, and the Danish health authorities, fear that the resistance and the differences will lead to the corona vaccines that are now being developed not working.
– Mutating virus from mink can lead to the vaccine not working, says Frederiksen.
– A continued mink breeding means a significant risk to public health, says Fredriksen.
Denmark is the world’s largest mink producer.
A few weeks ago, the Danish health authorities announced that they would kill around one million mink.
On Wednesday night, Frederiksen says that the remaining 15-17 million mink will also be killed.
This will be done by, among others, the Armed Forces and the Home Guard.
Good overview in Norway
At a meeting of the Norwegian Emergency Preparedness Committee against biological incidents, mink farms were a topic no later than Tuesday 27 October.
Then Ingunn Godal, director of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, said that they have a good overview.
«Godal emphasizes that when it comes to mink, there have been early meetings, and there is a good overview of the mink farms in Norway. The fur animal team has itself taken the initiative for a number of precautionary measures, which the Norwegian Food Safety Authority at an early stage could not impose on the industry itself “, it is stated in the minutes from the meeting.
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