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COVID-19 found in Taylor County mink

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), confirms that dead mink at a Taylor County mink farm, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. This is the first confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection among Wisconsin’s mink population.

The NVSL confirmed the positive result, after preliminary testing was conducted by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL). The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), has quarantined all animals on the farm, meaning no animals or animal products may leave the premise. As this is an active investigation, no information about the farm or parties involved will be released.

The DATCP is coordinating with the DNR, Taylor County Health Department, Department of Health Services (DHS), CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, WVDL and a local veterinarian, to provide assistance to the farm. The response includes appropriate carcass disposal, cleaning and disinfecting the animal areas, and protecting human and animal health.

Wisconsin is the second state with confirmed SARSCoV- 2 at a mink farm; Utah confirmed its first cases Aug.

17. There is currently no evidence that animals, including mink, play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to humans. However, people infected with the virus can spread it to mink and other animals.

People suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, are encouraged to avoid contact with pets and other animals while they are completing their home isolation, to protect the animals from infection.