Covid-19: what if other animals were host to the virus?

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What if, by transmitting Sars-CoV-2 to animals, humans created new virus reservoirs that put their health at risk? The question arises after the infection of mink in breeding farms in Northern Europe and the announcement of the mass slaughter of mustelids in the Netherlands and Denmark. At the origin of this massacre, a banal contamination: one or more members of staff suffering from Covid-19 transmit the virus to the animals in their care.

The pathogen then spreads to mammals. The story could have ended there but a few days later, employees (at least 2 in the Netherlands and 12 in Denmark) working in contact with mink found themselves contaminated in their turn, confirming the thesis of a passage from the virus from animal to human. A return to the sender in a way. In Denmark, the authorities are even reporting a virus that mutated in passing. “We do not yet know if this mutation will have a significant impact or not” tempers Alexis Lécu, head of the infectious diseases group for the association of veterinarians of zoos in Europe.

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