In the first year of the outbreak, at least four people were infected in Michigan with a version of the coronary virus most frequently reported in Monk, the center confirmed on Monday for control and prevention of the disease.
The cluster, which previously included only three cases, represents the first known example of a possible animal-to-human transmission of the virus in the United States.
Two of the victims were employees of the Michigan Monk Farm who experienced the outbreak of the Corona virus in October 2020. The other two had no known link to the farm, suggesting that the Monk variant may have been circulating more widely among residents of the area at that time.
The virus samples collected from all four people contain two mutations that scientists have imagined might be signs of adaptation, said Dr. Casey Barton Behrevish, who directs the CDC’s One Health Office on Monday. Said in an email.
Mutations have already been documented in Europe in the format Manik, as well as in those who have connections to these forms.
“In addition, workers at Monk Farm began experiencing Monk’s disease after testing positive for Covid-19 and increasing mortality rates, suggesting that the most likely hypothesis is this. That workers were affected after contact with Monk on the farm, “Dr. Barton Beverish said.
But this cannot be completely proved, he noted.
“Because there are some genetic sequences that are from communities around the farm, it is impossible to know for sure whether the mutations came from the monk on the farm or were already circulating in the community,” he said.
The National Geographic first reported the fourth human case, after receiving official documents from the Monk Farm epidemic under the Freedom of Information Act.
Last year, the Detroit Free Press and Documentary Code-19 Project reported the first three cases, including two farm labor and a taxidermist that had nothing to do with Monk Farm, according to emails obtained by two organizations.
On Monday, they reported that the fourth case was the taxidermist’s wife.
In early October 2020, Michigan officials announced that the virus had been discovered in a monk on a local farm and that many animals had died. At the request of the state, the CDC appointed a team to assist in the outbreak investigation.
Researchers collected samples of animals and humanitarian workers on the farm, as well as people from the surrounding communities, said Dr. Barton Behwish. In March 2021, the CDC updated its website, noting that “a small number of people” had contracted a version of the virus that contained “mink-related mutations.”
“This suggests that the virus can spread to humans,” said the agency, noting that all human patients have been cured.
But the first human case was identified in two workers on the infected mink farm, in early November 4, months before the agency updated its website, National Geographic reported.
“The CDC became aware of genetic sequencing data that would indicate a possible transition from humans to humans by the end of 2020,” said Dr. Barton Behwish.
The agency then worked with other federal and state officials to analyze the data, adding: “The information was posted on the CDC’s website as it became clear that there was a possible link to the human spread.
Human transmission from Monk has also been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands and elsewhere.
Overall, transmission of the virus from animals to humans is considered rare. Experts say humans are more likely to spread the virus to one another, or to other species, than to catch them from animals.