Can I Catch COVID-19 From Pesky Summer Bugs?
by Kroger Health Staff
Last Updated: June 23, 2020
With summer months come summer pests. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other pesky bugs are invading our personal space once again, and bringing diseases with them. But while we spray and swat these insects away, should we be concerned about catching COVID-19 from these blood sucking bugs?
Each year mosquitoes infect nearly 700 million people across the globe with diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika. Lyme disease, the illness that is caused by bacteria transmitted via deer ticks, infects nearly 430,000 individuals in the U.S. each year, according to the most recent estimates available. Given this information, it is understandable that many wonder if mosquitoes and ticks can transmit the coronavirus as well.
Experts at The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) believe the coronavirus mainly spreads from person-to-person through close contact. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, respiratory droplets are released into the air. Those tiny droplets can end up in the mouths or noses of people within close proximity to the infected person, thus spreading the virus.
While there are many studies underway to determine how the virus spreads, experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) have no information or evidence supporting the claim that insects can transmit COVID-19 to people. In large part, experts believe there is no biological reason COVID-19 can spread via insects. Because of the process by which insects transmit other diseases, like West Nile and Lymes Disease, which are spread through the blood, it is unlikely for the same bugs to transmit the virus through the respiratory system.
It is important to remember that insects still pose a threat as they buzz by your ears. Be sure to take the necessary precautions when spending time outside to avoid insect bites, such as wearing long sleeves, pants and insect repellant. For more advice on preventing mosquito or insect bites, visit The CDC’s Vector-Borne Disease website. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, including information about how the virus spreads, visit The CDC’s website.
Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.