Mosquitoes As Carriers of Diseases: Can They Spread Coronavirus?

With the Corona Virus wreaking havoc all over the world, it is no wonder that people are questioning whether mosquitoes can spread the virus as well. Well, let’s put your worries to rest. The answer is NO. Mosquitoes cannot infect human beings with the coronavirus since it cannot replicate the pathogen in its gut and salivary glands. According to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Mosquito Control Association, and WHO, mosquitoes are not a vector of the Coronavirus. In layman’s terms, the mosquitoes cannot be infected by COVID-19, thereby preventing it from spreading it to human beings.

Why there is a concern among people? 

Female mosquitoes feed on blood in order to develop their eggs. They fly about feeding on the blood of multiple warm-blooded mammals including human beings. During this process, they also tend to spread viruses with each bite. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people die each year due to severe illnesses brought on by mosquito bites and the pathogens they carry. This has made people feel insecure when they find mosquitoes around. However, as mentioned above, they are not responsible for spreading COVID-19.

According to the latest studies, COVID-19 is spread primarily through airborne droplets produced by a sneeze or a cough. Touching a surface contaminated by these airborne virus-laden droplets will cause infection. However, mosquitoes are still carriers of several other diseases. Some of the common diseases associated with mosquitoes include:

West Nile Virus

Although West Nile Virus can spread through organ donations, blood transfusion, and breastfeeding, most people are infected by mosquito bites. People who contract the West Nile Virus experience mild flu-like symptoms. They often recover in a span of two weeks. However, people with weakened immune systems and, on the older side tend to develop life-threatening complications.

Canine heartworm

Although mosquitoes prefer feeding on humans, they also bite other warm-blooded mammals.

Canine heartworm is a parasitic disease that is present among dogs. Infected mosquitoes can infect the dogs they feed on. The infection results in multiplication of the tiny worms, leading to havoc on the lungs, heart, and arteries. If undetected and untreated, the infection can prove to be fatal. In order to prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to get your pet dog vaccinated by your veterinarian.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern equine encephalitis is a virus that can cause serious brain infections. In most cases, it leads to permanent damage to the central nervous system. With over 30 percent of infected people dying due to Eastern equine encephalitis, it is essential to prevent mosquitoes breeding in your area.

Why it is Important to be Careful During this COVID-19 Situation

With social distancing and stay at home orders in place in most countries across the world, people are spending more time in their gardens and yards. This helps them get a dose of Vitamin D and also helps uplift their spirits. Unfortunately, it also makes them vulnerable to mosquito bites. The experts at https://www.geckopest.com/ advise using mosquito repellents to keep these pests at a distance. It also helps prevent falling ill at a time when the healthcare system is already extremely strained. 

Preventing Mosquito Bites

In order to stay clear of getting bitten by infected mosquitoes, it is smart to avoid all mosquito bites in general. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish that:

Protect Your Home: Dirty, stagnant water is one of the most favorite breeding grounds of mosquitoes. You can help prevent this from occurring by ensuring that there is no standing water in the vicinity of your home. Some common examples of standing water in and around your home include kiddie pools, trashcans, flowerpots, and birdbaths.

Securing Windows & Doors: You can prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by installing insect screens for the windows and the doors. As long as the screens are in place, you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes entering your beloved home and biting your loved ones.

Protect Your Skin: When you go outside, remember to wear light-colored outfits that have long sleeves as well as full-length pants. This will prevent the mosquitoes from getting easy access to your skin. You can also wear a store-bought insect repellent or a DIY one. Since mosquitoes are attracted to perfumes, it is a good idea to avoid fragrant cologne, hairspray, or sunscreen when you are outdoors.

Mosquito Prevention:  Take help from professionals to reduce the population of mosquitoes by specialized treatments to your house and yard regularly.  It prevents the reproduction of mosquitoes as the treatment targets larvae and pupae seen in the water bodies.   

How Do Mosquitoes Transmit Diseases?

When the female mosquitoes feed on blood, it also sucks up pathogens along with the blood. However, the mosquito does not become infected in each case. Only if it is infected, it becomes a transmitter of the disease according to experts. Once the blood is sucked by a mosquito, the infected blood finds its way to the gut. The pathogens have to escape the gut lining and enter the bloodstream and then fight the mosquito’s immune system before finally infecting it. After the mosquito becomes infected, it can spread the disease only if the pathogens reach the mosquito’s saliva glands. Plasmodium is one such pathogen that causes malaria that is spread around via mosquito bites. 

Why Mosquitoes Cannot Spread COVID-19

While some pathogens adapt to the process, others perish in the mosquito’s gut. The COVID-19 virus has not adapted to surviving the mosquito’s gut. This is why it has been established without a doubt that mosquitoes do not carry or spread the Coronavirus. The World Health Organization has already dismissed the myth that mosquitoes carry COVID-19 on its “coronavirus myths” page.

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets caused due to a sneeze, cough, or any discharge from the nose or the mouth. It has also been observed to spread through contaminated surfaces. So you can rest assured that mosquitoes do not spread the coronavirus. However, with the rapidly rising number of Coronavirus cases, it is a good idea to avoid mosquitoes. This can ensure that you do not fall prey to any of the other diseases it might be spreading. 

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