Can Mosquitoes Transmit Covid-19?
June 2, 2020
In the past few weeks we have heard from concerned clients who are worried about the prospect that mosquitoes could transmit the covid-19 virus via a bite. It’s a really great question, and one that makes sense since mosquitoes (and ticks) often carry pathogens that can make humans sick.
For years we have warned against the dangers of mosquito-borne pathogens such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, and chikungunya. In our region, the most prevalent diseases that are passed along by biting insects are West Nile and lesser known, chikungunya. Mosquitoes can also cause yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, and several forms of encephalitis.
Since the method of transmission of these diseases are known around the globe, it seems reasonable to be concerned that COVID-19 could also be transmitted in the same fashion.
Here’s what the epidemiologists and entomologists are saying regarding this concern.
In a report published in ProPublica on April 15, 2020, “The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that it is studying whether the novel coronavirus can be spread by mosquitoes.” The study is ongoing and results will be published as soon as the study is completed.
The theory of mosquito transmission of the virus was ruled out in March of this year by the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with their global counterparts, report that there is no data to suggest that the virus can be spread from a mosquito. The reasoning of both is that the virus does not spread widely via blood but rather sets up camp in the lungs and along the respiratory tract.
In addition, independent experts say such transmission is virtually impossible. They go on to state that, “There has been no demonstrated case of any of the family of viruses to which the novel coronavirus belongs being transmitted by a mosquito.” In their studies, scientists in Germany, the Netherlands, China, Canada and elsewhere are studying animal susceptibility to the coronavirus, and they have thus far determined that ferrets, cats and dogs can be infected. Other animals being investigated include pigs, chickens and turkeys. So far no definitive evidence has shown the virus to be in or spread by mosquitoes.
We will follow this story throughout the season and keep you up-to-date on any changes in the reporting on this matter.
Remember there are still many pathogens that can be spread via mosquito and tick bites. If you would like to explore what yard treatments for these pests would entail, please contact our office for more information.