Central Jutland - Credit Wikipedia
Even as lockdown restrictions have recently been eased in North Jutland where Denmark reported an outbreak of `mink-variant' COVID-19 - both in humans and farmed mink last month (see SSI Update -Relaxation Of North Jutland Restrictions) - the number of `variant' virus infections in Central Jutland has begun to rise.
Yesterday the Danish government announced new measures to contain the spread of these variant viruses in two municipalities in North Jutland; Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern, which have a combined population of about 100,000.
While the term `mink-variant' is used, that is a broad term that covers at least 5 different mutated strains of the virus, including `cluster 5' which was linked to potentially reduced vaccine effectiveness.
At last word, this most problematic variant hasn't been reported in Denmark since mid-September.
Genetic sequencing of new isolates, however, is ongoing.
The government introduces measures to contain infection with mink variants in Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipalities
PRESS RELEASE - The government is launching a number of measures to reduce and contain the infection in Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipalities. This is because a high incidence of infection has been found among people related to mink farms and fur series.
The health authorities recommend that special measures be taken in relation to testing, infection detection and self-isolation.
And the residents of the affected municipalities are encouraged to interact with as few people as possible.
The measures will tentatively be valid until and including 3 December 2020.
See the full list of measures here .
A local task force is set up consisting of the Danish Agency for Patient Safety and the local police authorities to handle local initiatives.
On the basis of new data from the health authorities for the spread of infection, sequencing, etc. the Task Force, including the health authorities, has assessed the situation. The task force pays particular attention to:
- In the Central Jutland Region, it is in the municipalities of Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern that most people with connections to mink production have been infected with COVID-19.
- In the Central Jutland Region, 47 cases (26%) and 48 cases (27%) out of a total of 180 cases of COVID-19 in persons associated with mink production have so far occurred in Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipalities.
- Results of the sequencing in the Central Jutland Region show that in weeks 44 and 45, 12% and 9% of all sequenced samples are positive for mink variants, respectively, compared to 3% and 6% of the samples in weeks 42 and 43, respectively.
The Statens Serum Institut states that it is possible that the proportion of infected with mink variants will increase in Holstebro and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipalities in the coming weeks, due to the sharp increase in the number of newly infected farms and infected people associated with mink farms.
- In Holstebro Municipality on 23 November, an incidence per 100,000 inhabitants, of 305, where the number the week before was 276. In Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality on 23 November, an incidence per. 100,000 inhabitants out of 101 infected, where the number the week before was 108.
The task force follows developments in the Central Jutland Region closely. Developments in the Region of Southern Denmark but also other parts of the country with mink farming are also monitored. There may therefore be a need for more municipalities to be covered by the measures.
Ministry of Health and the Elderly press telephone: 21 32 47 27
For more on the history, and concerns, over `mink variant' COVID-19, you may wish to revisit:
Preprint: Recurrent Mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes Isolated from Mink Point to Rapid Host-Adaptation
EID Journal: SARS-CoV-2 Transmission between Mink (Neovison vison) and Humans, Denmark
ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment: Detection of New SARS-CoV-2 Variants Related to Mink
WHO Statement On SARS-CoV-2 Mink-associated Variant Strain – Denmark