Distemper in minks in Ostrobothnia, Finland

15.1.2013

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Distemper has been found on a mink farm in Ostrobothnia. The minks have typical signs of the disease, such as discharge from the eyes, respiratory tract signs and increased mortality. The infection was confirmed in investigations by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira. Distemper is not passed on to humans, nor does it lead to official control measures. Possible measures can be agreed together with the veterinarian treating the animals. 

The source of the infection is not (yet) known.

Distemper was last found near Finland in farmed mink last autumn in Denmark. The most recent more extensive distemper epidemic on Finnish mink farms was in 1985-1987, when the infection came to Finland with imported animals.

Canine distemper virus (CDV),the causative agent of distemper, is a Morbillivirus. The virus occurs worldwide and causes the serious disease in e.g. dogs, minks, ferrets and foxes. The disease can be prevented using vaccinations. Distemper epidemics are rare due to good vaccination coverage of the dog population. Only some of Finnish fur farms vaccinate their animals.

Related reading
Recommended vaccinations for minks (in Finnish)
Recommended vaccinations for dogs (in Finnish)

Additional information
Christine Ek-Kommonen, Head of Section, Veterinary Virology Research Unit
Tel. 050 514 3926
Ulla-Maija Kokkonen, Senior Researcher, Veterinary Virology Research Unit
Tel. 050 526 2065

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