Lithuania finds coronavirus in minks at one farm

Lithuanian authorities have detected novel coronavirus in minks at a farm in the central part of the Baltic EU state, officials said Thursday.

The Baltic state’s veterinary agency said that one person who works in the farm also tested positive for coronavirus.

“The results show that a farm worker could have transmitted the virus SARS-CoV-2 to mink,” agency chief Darius Remeika said in a statement.

The veterinary service said that dozens of minks will be culled but no mass cull is planned for now.

Lithuania has 86 mink farms with a total of around 1.6 million minks.

It started testing mink farms earlier this month after coronavirus cases in minks were reported in other European countries.

Denmark has already killed around two-thirds of its stocks of 15 to 17 million minks while Ireland also says it is planning a nationwide cull over similar virus-related fears.

There have also been positive cases at mink farms in Poland.

Minks, which are farmed for their soft fur, are the only animal that has been proven both to contract the new coronavirus and re-infect humans.

Scientists have warned that the coronavirus in populations of farmed minks could lead to new mutations which could compromise vaccines.