Mosquitoes don’t transmit coronavirus, Italian study finds

Mosquitoes don't transmit coronavirus, Italian study finds
File photo of an Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP
Mosquito bites are one of the major downsides of summer in Italy, and there have been additional worries this year that they could also transmit the virus. But a new Italian study says that neither regular nor tiger mosquitos are able to carry it.
A new scientific study by Italy's national health institute ISS shows that mosquitoes are unable to transmit coronavirus to humans, the institute said in a statement on Thursday.
 
The World Health Organisation had already said there was no evidence that the virus could be transmitted by the blood-sucking insects, which spread dengue and other diseases when they bite humans.
 
In recent years there have been outbreaks of the Zika virus and West Nile fever detected in Italy, both of which were believed to have been spead by mosquitos.
 
 
So concerns were high that the same could happen with the new coronavirus.
 
But the latest study, performed in collaboration with IZSVe, a research organisation for animal health and food safety, revealed that neither the tiger mosquito or common mosquito could transmit SARS-CoV-2.
 
“The research showed that the virus, once given to the mosquito through a meal of infected blood, was not able to replicate,” ISS said in a statement,  ruled out the transmission of COVID-19 through mosquito bites.

Nonetheless the ISS advises people to take precautions against mosquitos, especially during the insects' peak activity at at sunrise and sunset. Its recommendations include:

  • Use repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.
  • Sleep in rooms with air-conditioning where possible and keep windows closed or screened.
  • Use mosquito nets.

 


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