We’ve already discussed scientific findings that shed light onto whether or not your housepets can catch coronavirus (the chance is infinitesimally tiny and was never really confirmed), but what about other animals? It turns out that humans who have caught coronavirus can spread the disease to minks, which are also susceptible to COVID-19. And you might be surprised at the damage to mink populations!
Minks are animals — and that means there are no social distancing regulations or government-imposed restrictions for them to follow when interacting with one another.
That’s how 10,000 minks in Utah died of COVID-19 in Utah according to an NBC News report. The real damage to mink populations, though, was done when government officials decided it was better to be safe rather than sorry — and chose to cull over one million of the animals to guarantee that they would not be a threat to humans.
While this response might seem like overkill, it’s important to remember that the single greatest chance for a virus to mutate is during species to species transmission. And what might not be deadly to one animal could be deadly to another.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is very little risk of catching the virus from an animal. Of course, that won’t comfort people who remember the theories about how the virus propelled into the spotlight into the first place.
COVID-19 attacks and damages the lungs and other organs of minks in much the same way as it does in humans. More information is still needed to understand the long-term effects of the disease that has already killed over 200,000 Americans. There are a number of reports of COVID-19 survivors returning to the hospital with lung and heart damage, among other serious complications. Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask!