Dutch investigators believe a human may have contracted the novel coronavirus from a mink at a farm in the Netherlands.
New research findings in the ongoing investigation into the country’s mink farms also show that the animals can have COVID-19 without showing any symptoms, according to a press release from the Dutch government.
Investigators also believe cats may have a role in the spread of the virus on the mink farms. Coronavirus antibodies were detected in three out of 11 cats at one of the mink farms under investigation. Pending further research, the Dutch government is advising mink farm owners to ensure that cats cannot enter or exit the site.
The government is now instituting mandatory antibody testing of minks at all farms in the Netherlands.
“These new findings have a major impact on mink farm owners and staff and their families, as well as on local communities,” Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said in a statement late Tuesday night. “I’m in close contact with all those involved.”