Danish mink Coronavirus 'most likely extinct'

Danish mink Coronavirus 'most likely extinct'
Caged mink farmed for their fur in Denmark. © Belga

A mutation of the coronavirus transmissible from minks to humans seen in Denmark, considered problematic because it could potentially threaten the effectiveness of a future vaccine, is "very probably extinct," the Danish Ministry of Health said Thursday.

"No other case of the mutation originating from mink, Cluster 5, has been detected since 15 September, which is why the Institute for Infectious Diseases (SSI) believes that this mutation is very likely to be extinct," the ministry wrote in a statement announcing the lifting of most restrictions in the affected region.

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The detection of the mutation had prompted Denmark to order the culling of its entire herd of more than 15 million mink.

This controversial order led the country's Food and Agriculture Minister to resign, following the revelation that there was no legal basis for such culling. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has faced similar calls, but has maintained the line that it was a sound decision.

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