There are certain rumors that link COVID-19 spread with mosquitoes and even ticks but are these really true? Texas A&M AgriLife experts have made it easier to understand. As to them, there is currently no medical evidence to support that mosquitoes and mites are helping in its transmission.
Pete Teel, the interim HOD at the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, (A & M University, Texas) says; “Ticks, like mosquitoes, are blood-feeding external parasites.”
He further shares that; “The viruses they are known to transmit to humans must survive and grow, or replicate, inside the tick as well as survive through tick developmental stages.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that mosquitoes and ticks can transmit viruses but not all types of viruses are transmitted through them. Right now, there is almost no data to find if this novel coronavirus or other viruses like this (SARS, MERS) can be transmitted through such insects or not.
Generally, mosquitoes or ticks act as a carrier between people and transmit virus from one to another. But for that, it is necessary that the virus is replicating inside the mosquito body which, at this time is not clear. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person interaction through respiratory droplets.
It is understandable that ticks, mosquitoes and other similar blood-sucking insects act as a vector to carry and transmit pathogens including viruses. Professor Zach Adelman from the Department of Entomology says that;
“People still need to exercise caution and good judgment in avoiding bites. But there is no evidence that a coronavirus can survive being digested by a mosquito, let alone transmitted to another person.”
Considering that health authorities have advised people to follow social distancing, they are spending more and more time outdoors. They try to keep themselves busy in activities such as running, walking, swimming, etc. Kevin Myles from the Department of Entomology says;
“One unintended consequence of this trend is that people may be increasingly exposed to mosquitoes and other disease vectors as the weather warms. As a result, everyone should be reminded to wear appropriate clothing and insect repellent when spending time outdoors, as vector-borne diseases continue to pose a threat to public health, in addition to flu and COVID-19.”
The coronavirus transmits from one person to another through direct contact. So people who are in close contact with each other are at a high risk of getting this infection. The experts suggest maintaining a “six feet” distance with any person.
The coronavirus that spreads through respiratory droplets infects every person who received these droplets while being too close to the infected person. This transmission is made possible with cough or sneeze, which is why medical experts suggest an infected person cover his mouth with hands or tissue paper or sleeve while coughing and sneezing.
As to mosquitoes and mites being a carrier of coronavirus COVID-19, there is no such information that suggests this to be true. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that there is no such evidence or report which could lead to this assumption that the novel coronavirus is transmitted through mosquitoes and mites. The American Mosquito Control Association is presently working to find evidence if it is true by monitoring the current situation. There are no statements or news from the association till the date and it is probably too early to assume anything without scientific evidence.