Second Dutch worker’s coronavirus infection also likely from mink

The infections happened before it was known that the mink were carrying the virus. (Pixabay pic)

THE HAGUE: A second Dutch worker has likely been infected with coronavirus on a mink farm, but the risk of further contagion remains low, the agriculture minister said Monday.

The case follows a reported infection last week on one of two farms near the southern city of Eindhoven, where the disease was discovered in April among mink that are bred for their valuable fur.

“A second case has become known where on one of the mink farms SARS-CoV-2 has been passed from a mink to a human,” Carola Schouten said.

“The case is similar to the previous one,” she said in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

The infection happened before it was known that the mink were carrying the virus, meaning that workers did not wear protective clothing at the time.

Dutch health authorities who assessed the risk of infection outside the shed where the mink were being kept believed it was “negligible,” Schouten said.

Keeping mink for their fur has been a controversial issue in the Netherlands, with its highest court in 2016 ordering that all mink breeding must cease by 2024.

The Netherlands has so far recorded 5,830 human coronavirus deaths and 45,445 infections.