COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark will cull its mink population of up to 17 million after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans, the prime minister said on Wednesday.
Health authorities found virus strains in humans and in mink which showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of future vaccines.
The findings, which have been shared with the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, were based on laboratory tests by the State Serum Institute, the Danish authority dealing with infectious diseases.
The head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, Mike Ryan, called on Friday for full-scale scientific investigations of the complex issue of humans – outside China – infecting mink which in turn transmitted the virus back to humans.
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