With the warm weather, a new mosquito season is beginning. Mosquitoes are the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths every year and spread different viruses.
As we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a legitimate question is can mosquitos transmit the coronavirus?
Mosquitos Transmit Other Viruses
It is known that mosquitoes can spread a number of viruses, including Zika, West Nile, Western Equine Encephalitis, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Chikungunya. Mosquitoes also transmit malaria which is caused by Plasmodium parasites.
But there are many other viruses or diseases that cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes such as HIV and Ebola.
How Do Mosquitoes Transmit Diseases?
When a female mosquito bites an infected human for a blood meal they can pick up the virus. Then when the mosquito bites another person they can transmit the virus.
The virus is not carried naturally by the mosquitoes, they only pick them up from infected people.
The mosquito acquires the virus when feeding. The virus is then replicated in the gut tissue and spreads to the rest of the body. The virus has to infect the salivary glands before it can be passed on to the host during the next feeding.
A virus, like HIV, that can’t be transmitted by mosquitoes, is broken down in the gut before the mosquito bites for another blood meal and is therefore not transmitted to the victim.
This video explains how mosquitoes spread viruses.
What About the Coronavirus?
At this time there is no evidence that mosquitoes can transmit the COVID-19 virus.
The World Health Organization, the American Mosquito Control Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said there is no evidence that the Coronavirus can be transmitted by mosquitoes.