Coronavirus outbreak at northern Wisconsin mink farm

TAYLOR COUNTY, Wis. -- A mink farm in northern Wisconsin is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak. In this case, it's in the mink themselves and not the farm staff that have been infected. 

The Taylor County farm noticed an uptick in mink deaths so they had the animals tested. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirmed nine mink tested positive. Hundreds of mink died in the outbreak but the farm is contained now.

"We quarantined the farm so we know that there are no animals that are moving off the farm or animal parts for that matter moving off the farm," said Kevin Hoffman, public information officer for DATCP. "Not a concern right now, just to work on that site and make sure that we're doing everything we can to protect the animals that are still healthy and compost those that have been lost."

Right now, the biggest takeaway is that there is no evidence that it can spread to humans.

"It's just important to remind people that it's not something we're seeing. There's no evidence to suggest that. There's no need for a concern or anything like that. But that being said, this is still a new virus and we are exercising those same precautions that you do any place else," Hoffman said. 

Even though the virus can't be spread from animals to humans, it can be spread from humans to animals and from one animal to another. The best thing to do if you feel your pet might have something is to keep it away from other animals and to call your local veterinarian. 

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