Agency: First US virus cases in mink found at 2 Utah farms

Officials have confirmed the first U.S. cases of mink infected with the coronavirus following outbreaks in Europe

The impacted farms in Utah have been quarantined to stop the spread of the virus. The state is one of the top mink breeders in the country, said state veterinarian Dr. Dean Taylor.

Scientists believe the coronavirus that first infected people in China initially came from an animal source, probably bats, and later spread from person to person.

Some animals, including cats and dogs, have picked up the coronavirus from people as it spread around the world.

Scientists are studying outbreaks in Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands and exploring whether workers could have caught the virus from minks and, if so, how much of a further threat that type of transmission might pose.

More than 1 million minks were killed on Dutch farms with outbreaks to prevent the spread of the disease. There are no similar plans in Utah, Taylor said. State officials will instruct operators on bio-security measures to help prevent future spread, he said.