Denmark, one of the world's major exporters of mink fur products, will kill all 15- million-plus of its farmed mink in an effort to stop the spread of a mutated version of coronavirus that has infected some of the animals.
The head of the nation's State Serum Institute, which deals with public health, said at a Wednesday press conference that the mutated virus found in minks may disrupt effectiveness of a human vaccine against COVID-19.
Twelve people in Denmark's Jutland region have already contracted the mutated virus, which is less affected by antibodies.
Danish officials have informed the World Health Organization of the developments with this mutated version of COVID-19. The United States and the Netherlands also have reported mink cases of coronavirus.
Scientists outside Denmark, including geneticist Emma Hodcroft, from the University of Basel; Dr. Stanley Perlman, a microbiologist from the University of Iowa; and Dr. Jonathan Epstein of the EcoHealth Alliance, all said that without further information, it is impossible to properly evaluate the news coming from Denmark.
Hodcroft urged people to remain calm.
Denmark's farmed mink population is spread among more than 1,000 farms. The Danish military will be involved in eliminating the animals.