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A mink is believed to have infected a farmworker in the Netherlands with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Dutch officials said.

In a government statement published Tuesday, new findings suggest a person who worked on a farm where mink are bred to export their fur contracted the virus from the animals. Outbreaks on mink farms in the Netherlands were first reported in April, when keepers noticed some animals having difficulty breathing, prompting a wider investigation.

“The investigation has also shown that mink with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic,” the statement said.

But minks aren’t the only animals affected by the coronavirus.

Since the virus emerged, there have been reports of animals testing positive for the coronavirus across the world, including dogs, ferrets, cats and several tigers and lions in a New York City zoo.

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The animal outbreaks have caused some pet owners to be concerned around coronavirus transmission, and wonder: Can I get my pet sick, or can my pet get me sick?

“It’s an animal-origin virus,


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