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Mink infected with mutated coronavirus strain escaped from Oregon farm afflicted by COVID-19 outbreak

Oregon state officials confirmed that a mink infected with coronavirus escaped from a farm that was quarantined in November following an outbreak that affected both mink and humans.

The runaway mink was caught Dec. 13 by a team of state biologists, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and tested positive for low levels of the virus just over a week later.

Five opossums and two cats were also captured around the same time as the mink. None of the other animals tested positive for COVID-19.

“There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is circulating or has been established in the wild,” said Dr. Ryan Scholz, a veterinarian for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, in a statement. 

“Still, we are taking this situation very seriously and continuing to survey and trap near the farm.”

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