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Alfina Schicker takes a solitary walk through the woods in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in New York. (AP) Alfina Schicker takes a solitary walk through the woods in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in New York. (AP)

Alfina Schicker takes a solitary walk through the woods in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in New York. (AP)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman April 27, 2020

No proof mosquitoes transfer COVID-19 between people

If Your Time is short

  • The World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by mosquitoes.
     
  • COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or nasal discharge.

Misleading claims on social media have spread the myth that with summer around the corner, mosquitoes are another way that COVID-19 will spread.

"u think its bad now just wait till them mosquito's start transferring Corona blood from person to person," stated an April 22 Facebook post.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

While mosquitoes can transmit some illnesses such as malaria, we found no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through mosquitoes. It is a respiratory virus that spreads between people, public health agencies say.

"To date there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes," says the World Health Organization on a myth-busting page.

The main driver of COVID-19 transmission, based on available data, is people who have symptoms, WHO spokeswoman Carla Drysdale told PolitiFact.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, the WHO found.

"The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person," said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Featured Fact-check

For a virus to pass to a person through a mosquito or tick bite, the virus must be able to replicate inside the mosquito or tick, said Joseph M Conlon, an adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association.

"None of the coronaviruses have been shown to do that," he said.

However, mosquitoes can factor into the severity of the disease if a patient has underlying medical issues due to mosquito-borne diseases, Conlon said. 

"Mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile virus and dengue fever have not disappeared as COVID-19 has usurped the media landscape," he said. "As potential contributors to severe outcomes, their prevention/control becomes even more critical."

Though the WHO and CDC have said mosquitoes don’t transmit COVID-19, ProPublica reported that an internal briefing memo showed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched its own study into the matter. The USDA did not respond to ProPublica’s questions. We tried to confirm the memo ourselves but did not hear back from the agency.

Our ruling

A Facebook post said mosquitoes can transfer COVID-19 "from person to person"

Major health organizations said that mosquitoes do not transfer the virus. Instead, it is transferred via droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

Without evidence to support the claim, we rate this statement False.

Our Sources

Facebook, Post about mosquitoes, April 22, 2020

ProPublica, The CDC and WHO Have Already Said Mosquitoes Don’t Spread Coronavirus. Now USDA Will Study It, Too. April 15, 2020

World Health Organization, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters, Accessed April 27, 2020

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Frequently Asked Questions, Accessed April 27, 2020

University of Florida, Mosquitoes and COVID-19, Accessed April 27, 2020

Email interview, Carla Drysdale, World Health Organization spokeswoman, April 27, 2020

Email interview, Joseph M Conlon, American Mosquito Control Association technical advisor, April 27, 2020

 

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