The US Department of Agriculture has reported the first known case of coronavirus in a wild animal; it said that a wild mink had tested positive around an infected mink farm in Utah.
The BBC reported that coronavirus outbreaks at fur farms in the US and in Europe have killed thousands of the animals. As a consequence, millions of farmed mink have had to be culled across Europe.
The USDA said it had found one positive case in “free-ranging, wild mink” in Utah as part of wildlife surveillance around infected farms.
Several animals from different wildlife species were sampled and all tested negative, the agency added.
It said it had notified the World Organisation for Animal Health, but there is no evidence the virus has been widespread in wild populations around infected mink farms.
In an alert to the International Society for Infectious Diseases, USDA said: “To our knowledge, this is the first free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with Sars-CoV-2.”