World News

France rules out mutated coronavirus in mink farm case

FILE PHOTO: A mink is seen at the farm of the representative of the Panhellenic association of fur animal breeders Konstantinos Chionos in the village of Mikrokastro, Greece, November 14, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - A coronavirus outbreak detected last month on a mink farm in France did not involve a mutated strain of the virus, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

Denmark’s discovery of a variant form of the novel coronavirus that passed from humans to mink and back to humans led the country to slaughter all of its 17 million farmed mink.

The outbreak in France led the authorities to cull all the animals at the mink farm in the Eure-et-Loir region southwest of Paris.

“Sequencing analysis of the virus discovered in the Eure-et-Loir farm allows us to exclude any contamination by a variant of SARS-COV-2,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

The SARS-COV-2 virus causes the COVID-19 disease.

The most likely cause of the French outbreak was transmission to mink by infected humans, the ministry said.

No coronavirus cases have been detected at France’s three other mink farms, it added.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Mark Potter