Covid-19 today affects more than 50 million people around the world.
But how many in animals? Today, veterinarians want to join the scientific council to protect the health of all. It must be said that Denmark took the radical decision last week to slaughter 17 million farmed mink, after discovering the cases of twelve farm workers infected with the coronavirus. These people did not infect each other but it was the mink that infected them.
How did minks contract the coronavirus? Danish scientists believe it was primarily humans who transmitted the disease to animals. It then quickly spread within farms, affecting thousands of animals. Today, it returns like a boomerang to the agricultural workers who work on these farms.
The passage of the virus between humans and animals is already known. There have been several cases of COVID-positive masters who infected their dog or cat. But obviously the biggest problem is when it affects millions of farm animals. German researchers even found that raccoon dogs spread the disease very easily. These animals, half raccoon, half dog, are bred in China for their fur. There are 14 million living in captivity there and today they are also found in the wild in Eastern Europe.
The virus mutates each time it passes from one host to another, but even more so when it passes from one species to another. We must therefore monitor his mutations to see if they do not completely change the way he attacks us. In addition, all research on vaccines has been done from a certain strain of the virus. It should not change completely by the time the vaccine is developed. Otherwise, the treatment will not allow us to escape the disease.
Danish authorities have spotted changes in the bodies of people infected with mink. For them, there is therefore a danger for Danish and world public health. Hence this radical decision to kill all the minks. But are we going to kill all the ferrets, raccoons, martens to avoid the problem? In addition, certain species can be very useful in blocking viruses and preventing them from then passing back to humans. They are said to serve as a « sanitary cul-de-sac ». It is for this reason that animal disease specialists are pleading their cause to also join the scientific advice on Covid, especially in France.