Researchers discover new coronavirus in Sweden

Researchers discover new coronavirus in Sweden

While the epidemiological situation is still very good here, Swedish researchers have announced the discovery of a new coronavirus. Their study, based on 260 bank voles found in Grismö, west of Stockholm, shows that the virus is already circulating in these Swedish rodents. “Between 2015 and 2017, we found what we call ‘Grismö virus’ in 3.4% of these voles, suggesting that the virus is already common and widespread among Swedish bank voles,” says Åke Lundkvistn, author. of the study.

As the researcher explains, the bank vole is one of the most common rodents in Europe. “We still do not know what potential threats the Grimsö virus may pose to public health. However, based on our observations and previous coronaviruses identified in Swedish bank voles, there are good reasons to continue monitoring the coronavirus in wild rodents,” concludes Åke Lundkvistn.

The human activity involved

Since the start of the pandemic, researchers have been warning about the danger that animal diseases represent for humans. Whether it came from a bat or passed through a pangolin, the coronavirus comes from the animal world. But it is human activity that has favored its transition to humans, and if nothing changes, many others will follow, warn specialists.

“Given the growth of the human population and its ever more intense use of planetary resources, the destruction of more and more numerous ecosystems multiplies the contacts” between species, warned in 2020 Gwenaël Vourc’h, deputy director of the veterinary epidemiology unit of INRAE, a French public research institute.


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