Can mosquitoes carry you-know-what?

Hey, it’s Rich Dale.  I’ll just say it.  Mosquitoes tick me off — no pun intended.  They make that little tiny high-pitched whine that you can’t hear until they fly right by your ear!  Then I really want to just punch myself in the face in order to kill that thing.

Mosquitoes have been known to carry such diseases as West Nile virus, malaria and yellow fever. Now, with mosquito season getting underway in much of the U.S., a lot of people are asking, “Can they transmit the coronavirus?”

The answer, according to experts: probably not. Mosquitoes only transmit viruses that are present in a person’s blood, and as far as scientists know, the coronavirus isn’t. “SARS-CoV2 is a respiratory virus that is almost exclusively contained within the lungs and respiratory tract of infected people, and rarely gets into the blood,” says Colorado State University researcher Emily Gallichotte.

Plus, according to American Mosquito Control Association expert Joseph M. Conlon, for a virus to stay alive long enough to be carried by an insect from person-to-person, it needs to have the ability to replicate while inside the mosquito. And scientists say there’s no indication of that happening. “It’s quite a complex process,” Conlon says. “First of all, the mosquito would have to pick up the requisite amount of virus during its bite. The virus must then not only survive the digestive process, but replicate within the mosquito and pass through the gut wall to the coelom of the mosquito. From there it must make its way to the salivary glands and be expressed by the mosquito as part of its salivary secretions.”

So there you have it.  You can feel free to enjoy those wonderfully itchy bites and not worry about catching “the vid” from those critters.  Or if it flies by your ear, I’ll ask you, “Why ya hitting yourself?”