[ti:Denmark to Destroy Mink Population after Coronavirus Spreads to Humans]
[00:00.04]Denmark says it plans to destroy its whole population of minks
[00:07.60]after the animals apparently spread the new coronavirus to humans.
[00:15.68]Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said government investigators
[00:21.60]had discovered a mutation in the virus in 12 people in northern Denmark.
[00:30.16]The individuals are believed to have been infected by minks.
[00:36.88]Denmark's health minister said that half of nearly 800
[00:42.72]human COVID-19 cases in northern Denmark "are related" to minks.
[00:50.96]Denmark is the world's main exporter of mink fur.
[00:56.96]Most of the fur is sent to China and Hong Kong.
[01:02.92]Frederiksen called the situation "very serious" and warned
[01:08.84]that the mutation could make future coronavirus vaccines ineffective.
[01:16.84]Health officials said they found virus versions in humans
[01:22.44]and minks that showed decreased sensitivity to antibodies.
[01:29.48]They said this could make future vaccines less effective.
[01:35.76]Frederiksen told reporters the mutated virus in minks
[01:41.64]could have harmful effects worldwide.
[01:46.08]"We have a great responsibility towards our own population,
[01:51.84]but with the mutation that has now been found,
[01:56.16]we have an even greater responsibility
[01:59.48]for the rest of the world as well," she said.
[02:04.76]To deal with the problem, the government said it was necessary
[02:09.68]to cull the country's total population of 15 to 17 million minks.
[02:19.12]Officials said police and military forces
[02:23.12]would be deployed to speed up the process.
[02:27.92]The discovery of the mutation
[02:30.60]was shared with the World Health Organization (WHO)
[02:34.08]and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
[02:40.56]The head of the WHO's emergencies program, Mike Ryan,
[02:46.48]called for scientific investigations into how the coronavirus
[02:52.48]is being spread between minks and humans.
[02:57.72]"We have been informed by Denmark of a number of persons
[03:02.76]infected with coronavirus from mink,
[03:06.40]with some genetic changes in the virus,"
[03:10.28]the WHO said in a statement to Reuters.
[03:14.96]The WHO also provided a statement to the French press agency AFP.
[03:23.12]"In a few instances, the minks that were infected by humans
[03:28.52]have transmitted the virus to other people.
[03:32.76]These are the first reported cases
[03:36.36]of animal-to-human transmission," the statement said.
[03:42.24]The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[03:46.76]states that coronaviruses "are a large family of viruses
[03:53.00]that are common in people and many different species of animals,
[03:58.44]including camels, cattle, cats, and bats."
[04:04.64]The CDC adds that "animal coronaviruses
[04:09.16]rarely infect people and then spread between people."
[04:14.96]However, the organization said this happened with the new coronavirus,
[04:20.80]which causes the disease COVID-19.
[04:25.84]Scientists have said the new coronavirus likely started in bats
[04:32.20]and began spreading to humans at a market.
[04:36.32]Danish officials say a total of 207 of the country's fur farms
[04:43.52]had been infected with COVID-19.
[04:47.80]Denmark already started culling millions of mink last month in northern areas.
[04:56.16]The government has promised to compensate farmers for the losses.
[05:02.80]There are more than 1,000 such farms in the country.
[05:08.48]The animal cause group Humane Society International
[05:13.32]praised the prime minister for taking a necessary "and science-based step
[05:20.16]to protect Danish citizens."
[05:23.20]It said that such a large cull represents "an animal welfare tragedy."
[05:30.80]However, the group said it hoped that losing so many mink
[05:35.92]to the coronavirus will persuade fur farms to get out of the business.
[05:43.72]Danish officials said increased restrictions and stronger contact tracing efforts
[05:51.20]will be ordered in parts of the north to help contain the virus.
[05:57.56]Kare Molbak is the director at Denmark's State Serum Institute,
[06:04.28]the health body that deals with infectious diseases.
[06:09.12]"The worst case scenario is a new pandemic,
[06:13.52]starting all over again out of Denmark," he said.
[06:18.44]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM