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Mutated coronavirus from mink in Denmark most likely extinct

COPENHAGEN: A new, mutated strain of the coronavirus stemming from mink farms in Denmark is “most likely” extinct, Denmark’s Ministry of Health said on Thursday, citing an assessment from the State Serum Institute, which deals with infectious diseases.

No infections with the new virus variant, known as Cluster-5, had been registered since Sept. 15, the ministry said.

Two weeks ago, Danish authorities drafted the military and police to help Denmark’s 1,100 mink farmers cull their 17 million mink, one of the world’s biggest populations of the animals, which are bred for their fur. Farmers said the move would end their business for good.

The government’s drastic decision came after health authorities said the mink industry posed a risk to public health in the country due to widespread outbreaks on farms, exacerbated by the find of a mutated virus strain, which it said could compromise the efficacy of future vaccines.

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