Can bugs spread coronavirus (COVID-19)? How long can it live on gas pumps? Are pets safe?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus (COVID-19), so Local 4 is letting viewers submit questions so we can find verified answers.

Click here if you want to submit a question about the coronavirus.

Dr. Frank McGeorge wants to verify or refute any information about the coronavirus, but there are also some questions experts still don’t know the answer to. McGeorge is discussing them because acknowledging what we don’t know is just as important as verifying information so people don’t rely on incorrect answers.


As the weather warms up, the bugs are coming back. That has some viewers wondering if ticks and mosquitoes could spread the coronavirus.

There’s no evidence that insects can transmit the virus, either through a bite or by landing on an infected surface before flying elsewhere.

Mosquitoes and ticks can still spread other illnesses, though, so be sure to use repellant to protect against bites.

Gas pumps

The latest studies suggest the coronavirus can remain potentially infectious on hard plastic surfaces for up to three days.

Obviously, we still need to pump gas. Just be sure to use hand sanitizer immediately after pumping gas.


Several viewers are worried about their pets and whether they can catch the coronavirus.

There is no evidence the virus can be transmitted from pets to people. But there have been two dogs in Hong Kong and one cat in Belgium that have tested positive for the virus.

The dogs didn’t symptoms, but the cat did. All three are through to have been exposed through their owners.

Scientists are still looking into those situations. For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who believes they have the illness should have someone else in the family care for pets and avoid touching them.

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