clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Denmark makes a ‘heavy heart’ decision to stop the spread of a mutated coronavirus

Denmark will begin culling minks as the virus spread to the creatures.

Peter and Trine Brinkmann Nielsen put their flag to halfmast at the Norden mink farm, after the government called for the culling of minks, in Boerglum Kloster, Denmark
Peter and Trine Brinkmann Nielsen put their flag to half-staff at the Norden mink farm, after the government called for the culling of minks, in Boerglum Kloster, Denmark
Associated Press

Denmark said recently that it plans to cull all mink within the country to maintain a mutation of the coronavirus, CNN reports.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Wednesday that the decision was made with a “heavy heart.”

Still, Frederiksen said the decision is necessary to stop a mutated version of the virus from spreading to humans, according to CNN.

  • “The virus has mutated in mink. The mutated virus has spread to humans.”
  • “We have a great responsibility towards our own population, but with the mutation that has now been found, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well.

Authorities estimate that there are between 15 and 17 million minks in Denmark.

Why it matters:

Kare Molbak, the head of the State Serum Institute, said that a mutated virus could end up interfering with the future COVID-19 vaccine, according to The New York Times.

The country notified the World Health Organization about the mutation, too.

  • The WHO told The New York Times in an email that it was “informed by Denmark of a number of persons infected with coronavirus from mink, with some genetic changes in the virus.” The WHO said that Denmark was “investigating the epidemiological and virological significance of these findings, and culling the mink population. We are in touch with them to find more about this event.”