While the coronavirus causing the COVID disease has caused a lot of fuss and sorrow around the world for over two years already, we might need to be aware of a new threat. Bank voles (Myodes glareolus), meaning a type of rodent having reddish-brownish fur, carry a new type of coronavirus.
Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden are those who made the discovery after examining 260 bank voles in Örebro County (Sweden), according to the New York Post.
The Grimsö Virus enters the stage
The Grimsö Virus, meaning the new type of coronavirus in question, was found to be prevalent in rodents living in Örebro County.
At this point, it’s pretty much unknown if we should fear the new coronavirus that’s emerging in bank voles. But at the same time, the world needs to act cautiously. Prof. Åke Lundkvist, who’s head of the Zoonosis Science Center, confirms it by stating:
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 among bank voles, there is good reason to continue monitoring the coronavirus among wild rodents.
The authors of the study also said:
Given that bank voles are one of the most common rodent species in Sweden and Europe, our findings indicate that Grimsö virus might be circulating widely in bank voles and further point out the importance of sentinel surveillance of coronaviruses in wild small mammalian animals, especially in wild rodents.
Bank voles are known as very agile and active creatures, and one of them has a size between 13 cm and 17 cm in length. There are about 4,660 species of rodents in the world today. Rodents also represent the largest group of mammals.
The new study was published in the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI).