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In Minks, In People

Northern Denmark is on lockdown as a mutated SARS-CoV-2 strain initially identified in the mink population there was also detected in a dozen people, according to the Associated Press. Denmark, it notes, is home to 1,139 mink farms.

Denmark previously announced that it would be culling its mink population to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 strain, which has a mutation affecting its spike protein, the Guardian reports. "There's a risk that this mutated virus is so different from the others that we'd have to put new things in a vaccine and therefore [the mutation] would slam us all in the whole world back to the start," Kåre Mølbak from Denmark's State Serum Institute tells the Guardian.

However, Mike Ryan, the director of the World Health Organization's emergency program, tells the AP that there is no evidence right now that this variant leads the virus to behave differently.

Still, Wim van der Poel, a Dutch virologist and zoonosis expert, notes at the Guardian that having the virus in a reservoir such as minks should be avoided.