The germs mosquitoes spread by sucking our blood supply over half a million deaths each year and countless millions of cases of acute illness.
But there is no scientific evidence to indicate mosquitoes are transmitting SARS-CoV-2.
There’s more to learn about the coronavirus. Still, based on current understandings, it is highly improbable a mosquito will pick up the virus by biting an infected person, let alone be able to pass it on.
Yes, mosquitoes may transmit other viruses.
Mosquitoes need the nutrition in the blood to help develop their eggs. Viruses take advantage of the biological requirement of mosquitoes to move from host to host.
But for a mosquito to become infected, it needs to bite on an infected animal, like a bird or kangaroo, or a person.
Mosquitoes can transmit a number of viruses, such as yellow fever dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and Ross River virus. They can transmit.
But they can’t transmit a number of other viruses, such as HIV and Ebola.
You can’t catch Ebola, HIV, or the coronavirus out of mosquitoes, but they are able to transmit a number of other viruses. Holly Mandarich/Unsplash
For HIV, mosquitoes themselves do not become infected. It’s really unlikely a mosquito will pick up the virus when it bites an infected person on account of the concentrations of their HIV circulating in their blood.
For Ebola, even when scientists inject the virus into mosquitoes, they do not become infected. One study collected tens of thousands of pests during an Ebola outbreak but found no virus.
No, not coronavirus
The new coronavirus is mostly spread through droplets produced when we sneeze or cough, and by touching contaminated surfaces.
Although coronavirus was found in blood samples from infected people, there’s no evidence it can spread via mosquitoes.
There is no evidence the virus would have the ability to infect the mosquito itself, even if a mosquito did pick up a high enough dose of this virus in a blood meal.
And if the mosquito is not infected, it will not have the ability to transmit it to the next person she snacks.
Some viruses and not others?
It’s easy to think as flying syringes moving person droplets of contaminated blood of mosquitoes. The reality is far more complicated.
When a mosquito bites and sucks up some blood that contains a virus, the virus immediately winds up in the insect’s gut.
From there, the virus needs to infect the cells lining the intestine and”escape” to infect the rest of the body of the mosquito, dispersing to the thighs, wings, and mind.
The virus must infect the salivary glands before being passed by the mosquito when it bites.
This procedure can take a couple of days to over a week.
But time is not the only hurdle. The virus also must negotiate to get from the gut, becoming through the entire body, and then into the spit. Each step in the process may be an impenetrable barrier to the virus.
In the intestine, the virus may perish for others or be excreted, although this might be simple.