Coronavirus: Mink blamed for Dutch coronavirus cases

Transmission happened before it was known the animal could carry the disease

epa08430527 Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten disinfects her hands during her visit to Continental Bakeries in Dordrecht, Netherlands, 18 May 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Schouten visited the bakery to see how the facility applies the 1.5 metre distance guideline as a measure to stem the spread of the pandemic COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.  EPA/JERRY LAMPEN
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A Dutch worker has caught the coronavirus via a mink farm in what is believed to be the second case of a human becoming infected with the disease from an animal.

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 fur.

Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten said it is believed the case was passed from a mink farm to a human.

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", Ms Schouten said.

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

But it a letter to parliament, Ms Schouten repeated that the country's National Institute for Health believes the risk of animal-to-human transmission of the virus outside the farms on which they are kept is "negligible."