Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19?

People are moving time spent in their house to their backyard as the weather warms up. Now many people are wondering if a common summer time foe could spread COVID-19. News 18 spoke with an entomologist from Purdue who says it's highly unlikely.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 2:44 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2020 6:41 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—People are moving time spent in their house to their backyard as the weather warms up. Now many people are wondering if a common summer time foe could spread COVID-19.

"Mosquitos can transmit lots of different parasites and pathogens that cause disease in humans and they do transmit some viruses," said Professor at Purdue University and Entomologist Catherine Hill

Hill said mosquitos are commonly known for spreading diseases such as West Nile and Zikka although researchers don't believe that will be the case for COVID-19.

"I think it's an extremely remote possibility and the reason is because of the type of virus," said Hill. 

Professor Hill said viruses spread by mosquitos are blood born viruses. The transmission route for respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 is through droplets mainly from sneezing or coughing.

"And if those droplets land somewhere and then you touch that surface and then you touch your face for instance," said Hill. "So that's a very different transmission route then for a blood born pathogen parasite."

But what if a mosquito bites someone who is positive for COVID-19 then travels to someone who is negative?

"It's extremely unlikely that the viruses within this family are likely to be transmitted by that route," said Hill. 

Professor Hill said a virus like COVID-19 would have to be inside the mosquito and survive in the the stomach, which is unlikely.

"The virus would have to go through a number of physical and physiological barriers for that to happen," said Hill. 

Click here for CDC information on moquitoes and COVID-19. 

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