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VERIFY: Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19?

For months, WHO has reported that there is ‘no evidence’ that mosquitoes can spread coronavirus. Meet the researchers who injected insects with COVID to find out.

WASHINGTON — Question: 

Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19 from person to person?

Answer:

No. Medical experts reported to the Verify team that this is not possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said for months that there is "no evidence" that this transmission can occur.

Sources:

The World Health Organization, Mythbusters

Stephen Higgs, Director of the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University

Dr. Linda Nabha, Infectious Disease Doctor

Peter Armbruster, PHD, Davis Family Distinguished Professor of Biology at Georgetown University

Process:

For months, the World Health Organization has listed the claim that mosquitoes can spread coronavirus as a rumor on their Mythbusters Page.

“To date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes,” the post reads.

The WHO post goes on to say that the new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that “spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”

Now, the Verify team has received definitive proof from the Kansas State University that it's true. 

Stephen Higgs, the director of the Biosecurity Research Institute at KSU, said a study conducted by KSU researchers, which has now been published in Nature Scientific Reports, had researchers inject mosquitoes with COVID-19 to study whether the virus could grow inside the insects. 

“The virus basically disappeared,” Higgs said. “Within a day, those mosquitoes had no virus multiplying in them.”

Peter Armbruster, a Davis Family distinguished professor of biology at Georgetown University, offered the following analysis: 

“Arhropod-borne viruses, including viruses transmitted by mosquitoes such as Zika virus and dengue virus, have very specific biochemical adaptions that enable transmission by an arthropod vector (i.e., mosquito). An arthopod-borne virus must be able to withstand being ingested by a mosquito when it blood feeds on an infected human. The virus must then be able to migrate from the mosquito's gut, into the mosquito's body cavity, and infect the salivary glands. Then, when a mosquito bites another human, the virus can be injected along with mosquito saliva into the new human host (transmission). The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is not capable of completing these steps necessary for mosquito transmission – it is a respiratory virus.”

So we can verify that currently there is no evidence to prove that mosquitos can spread COVID-19 between people.

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