Mink may have transmitted Covid-19 Coronavirus to humans in the Netherlands

Animal HealthEpidemiologyPublic healthVirology

Several mink have tested positive with COVID-19 at four mink farms in the Netherlands. The mink showed various symptoms including respiratory problems. Some employees had symptoms of the coronavirus at both companies. Research shows that mink on the farm have transmitted the virus to each other. It is also plausible that two employees have been infected by mink.
The Animal Health Service (GD), Utrecht University (UU), Erasmus MC (EMC) and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) are conducting research to gain more insight into the virus, the spread of the virus and the spread in the environment. Samples of sick and healthy animals have been collected and air and dust samples have also been taken in the vicinity of the farms. GGD is involved in sampling and research into contamination of employees.

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Bees and pesticides: third consultation on guidance review

Animal HealthBeesEnvironmentToxicology

In March 2019, the European Commission (EC) mandated EFSA to revise its 2013 guidance document on the risk assessment of plant protection products and bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees) (EFSA, 2013), which was republished in 2014 following feedback from MSs collected during a workshop organised by the EC.
EFSA has considered both the complexity of the subject and the stakeholder and public interest of the subject in question, and has established an ad-hoc stakeholder consultation group that will be consulted at various stages of development of the work to provide input to the EFSA scientific working group. The Consultation Group together with Member State pesticide network have been asked for feedback on the proposed approach for revising tier 1 risk assessment schemes, with a focus on crop attractiveness and risk assessment methodologies.
EFSA will continue to consult stakeholders and Member State experts throughout the process. A full public consultation and workshop will take place when the guidance document has been drafted.

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Coronavirus: no evidence that food is a source or transmission route, according to EFSA

EpidemiologyFood Safety

EFSA’s chief scientist, Marta Hugas, said: “Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is any different in this respect.”
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) informs that while animals in China were the likely source of the initial infection, the virus is spreading from person to person – mainly  vi a respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough, or exhale.
Scientists and authorities across the world are monitoring the spread of the virus and there have not been any reports of transmission through food. For this reason, EFSA is not currently involved in the response to the COVID-19 outbreaks.
Regarding food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.

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SARS-CoV-2 infection among domestic animals


Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy): “There is no evidence that domestic animals are playing a role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2, whose predominant route of transmission is from human to human. However, veterinary surveillance and experimental studies suggest that domestic animals can occasionally be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, so it is important to protect the pets of COVID-19 patients limiting their exposure to the virus.
After leaving its potential wild animal reservoir, SARS-CoV-2 has quickly spread to all continents as the human species proved to be a receptive population, allowing effective intra-species transmission. The virus is now widely distributed among humans and, in some cases, seems to affect also the animals that share their lives and homes. As at 2 April 2020, 800,000 human cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, compared to only 4 cases of pets testing positive for SARS-CoV-2: two dogs and one cat in Hong Kong and one cat in Belgium. All of these animals are believed to have been infected by their owners, who had COVID-19″…

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