50ºF

Scientists don’t believe mosquitoes can spread coronavirus (COVID-19)

New research backs up assumptions that mosquitoes can't spread SARS-CoV-2 virus

DETROIT – Michigan residents were very concerned about whether mosquitoes could spread the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the start of the pandemic.

Mosquitoes can spread many dangerous diseases, but from the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, experts were confident they wouldn’t be able to spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Those opinions were based on previous observations and research on other coronaviruses, but scientists have not confirmed that those assumptions appear to have been correct.

Researchers from Kansas State University said they did everything they could to try to infect mosquitoes with the virus, even using means that wouldn’t occur in nature.

Their experiments involved three common species of mosquito, including two that are capable of spreading dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika virus and yellow ever.

In the lab, researchers injected mosquitoes with the coronavirus, giving them a larger dose than they would naturally get from feeding on the blood of an infected person. Even under those conditions, the virus didn’t multiply in the mosquitoes.

In short, unlike the viruses that cause mosquito-borne illnesses, SARS-CoV-2 isn’t able to complete the steps necessary to survive and be transmitted by mosquitoes.

Even though mosquitoes can’t carry COVID-19, they still pose a threat to transmit West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and other illnesses. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing insect repellant, repairing window screens and getting rid of standing water around your property.


About the Authors: