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Mosquitoes: Do they carry the coronavirus?

Right now the coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone’s mind, with many countries following a lockdown procedure to reduce the spread of the virus.

For many countries around the world, summer is starting to peek it’s head around the corner which means one thing… mosquitoes are back! As known carriers of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, some people are wondering “can mosquitoes spread coronavirus to humans?”.

Mosquitoes and the coronavirus

When it comes to mosquitoes and the spread of diseases, the virus must be able to be replicated in the mosquito’s gut and salivary glands. Essentially the mosquito needs to become infected with the virus themselves.

The good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) all agree that the mosquitoes are not a vector of COVID-19 simply because they can’t become infected by the virus. Therefore mosquitoes cannot spread the coronavirus to humans.

COVID-19 is primarily spread by airborne droplets produced from sneezes and coughs or by touching contaminated surfaces. In this instance, a disinfection service can support businesses deal with the effects of the coronavirus by sanitising touchpoints,  surfaces, equipment and floors.

Mosquitoes are still a problem for your family

As previously mentioned, many countries across the globe have introduced a lockdown procedure to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, a lot of us are spending more time outdoors in our gardens, enjoying the warm weather, or even going for walks as part of the daily exercise allowance.

Although mosquitoes cannot spread the coronavirus, they are known vectors of several other harmful diseases. Unfortunately, these biting insects haven’t quite grasped social distancing yet, so you and your family members are still at risk of being infected by a mosquito bite.

Mosquito-borne diseases

Below are some of the common diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Dengue

Dengue is considered to be the most important mosquito-borne viral diseases worldwide due to its rapid spread in recent decades. For the most part it thrives in poor urban areas of the tropics and subtropics due to poor sanitation and the vast array of suitable breeding sites.

However, the Aedes mosquito, known transmitters of Dengue, are well adapted to the human environment and can breed in areas where there is better sanitation if vector control methods are neglected.

Malaria

Malaria is the deadliest mosquito-borne disease. In 2018 the WHO estimated that there were around 228 million cases of Malaria in 91 countries. Over 90% of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa and more than two thirds of deaths are of children under 5.

The Anopheles species of mosquito is responsible for transmitting malaria. Each species of Anopheles has a distinct ecology and behaviour, which makes malaria vector control a more complex task than other mosquito-borne diseases.

Zika virus

Most people remember the Zika outbreak in 2015. However, this mosquito-borne disease was first identified in 1947. It is spread through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes but can also be transmitted from an infected pregnant mother to her foetus.

The outbreak in 2015, which resulted in 84 countries reporting cases of Zika by May 2017 showed the importance of an integrated approach in controlling an outbreak that should include integrated vector management, risk communication as well as health education and healthcare among other things.

How to prevent mosquito bites

There are a number of recommended tips to help avoid mosquito activity in and around your home which you can do to keep you and your family safe whilst enjoying the sunshine in a sensible manner during government lockdowns.

  • Remove standing water. Mosquitoes can breed with as little as a teaspoon of water.
  • Keep air circulated with a fan. Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers!
  • Avoid certain times of the day. Mosquitoes are more active at dusk and dawn.
  • Wear insect repellent when outside. Mosquitos can’t stand the stuff!

Coronavirus information

At Rentokil our motto is to protect people and enhance lives. During these challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our colleagues and customers and providing informative updates to help support your business via our website, social media and via direct communications.

coronavirus information

Jack Lyons

I joined the Marketing and Innovation team at Rentokil in 2015, and my mind has quickly become accustomed to the weird and wonderful world of pests. Outside of work my main hobby is music, being a huge fan of bands such as Queen and Led Zeppelin as well as being an avid drummer.

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