A RECENT case in the Netherlands has shed new light on the possible source of coronavirus as minks have been confirmed as hosting the COVID-19 virus.
The case, on a farm near the town of Eindhoven, was brought to the attention of the Spanish public in a statement issued by the director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simon.
Dutch scientists determined that the owner of the farm, plus several farm workers, ‘likely’ contracted the virus from his animals after minks were found to harbour the virus.
Simon confirmed that Spain currently has no confirmed cases of animals transferring the virus to humans.
However Spain has reported one of six cases worldwide, of a cat testing positive for the virus postmortem.
Dutch authorities have also linked the spread of the virus between numerous farms in Holland to cats, who regularly roam free between the properties.
During testing on two adjacent farms, three out of 11 cats tested positive for the virus.
During the statement, issued before the Coronavirus Management Committee yesterday, the epidemiologist conveyed his interest in the Dutch case to help better understand the original source of the virus.
“In other coronaviruses, specifically SARS, the host was the civet cats. The fact that the minks have become infected could indicate that they could be the original reservoir of the pathogen in China,” speculated Simon.
COVID-19 is widely thought to have originated in infected bats, before further studies also implicated pangolins as the possible spreaders.