A mink may have infected a second Dutch worker with coronavirus, agriculture minister says

But Schouten said that the Dutch health authorities believe the risk of human exposure to the virus outside the barns where the mink were being kept was “negligible.”

On April 26, the Dutch government reported that mink on two farms in the south of the country had been found to have the virus, triggering a wider investigation.

Last week, the government reported its first suspected case of mink-to-human transmission. As a result Schouten and health minister Hugo de Jonge introduced new measures, including screening mink at all farms in the Netherlands for antibodies and requirements for staff members to wear protective equipment.

There have been several cases of infections in animals since the pandemic went global. News in February that a Hong Kong pet dog had tested “weak-positive” for COVID-19 sparked panic that domestic dogs and cats could be transmitters of the virus.

On April 5, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for coronavirus after developing a respiratory illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

But health experts have repeatedly sought to reassure the public that people and pets cannot pass the coronavirus to one another.

Read:Can my dog or cat get coronavirus? What pet owners need to know after a pug and two cats tested positive in the U.S.

Both the World Organisation for Animal Health, based in France, and the CDC have said there is no evidence that companion animals such as cats and dogs can spread the virus. “Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare,” the animal-health organization said.

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