Nuisance mosquitoes typically begin hatching in May. File photo.

Can mosquitoes spread COVID-19? WHO says no

There’s been a noticeable uptick in mosquitoes – but British Columbians don’t need to worry

Even as British Columbians are being told it’s safe to enjoy the outdoors, concerns have been raised about how whether bugs can carry the virus – particularly the ones that take a bit of blood and leave behind an itchy bump.

But according to the World Health Organization, there’s nothing to fear when it comes to mosquitoes spreading the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

In B.C., mosquito season typically begins in the summer – but warm weather mixed with wet conditions are a particularly favourable combination for mosquitoes to hatch and head for open skin.

Female mosquitoes look to lay their eggs in soil that is protected from risks but prone to flooding, like near rivers and creeks. They average about 1,000 eggs in a lifetime. As eggs cannot hatch until they get wet, each tiny egg can remain dormant for as long as 10 years, waiting for perfect conditions.

Meanwhile, warm water speeds up the development of a hatched larval to adult mosquito.

But although annoying, British Columbians don’t need to worry they’ll be going inside from a walk or bike ride bringing in more than a few itchy spots.

READ MORE: Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

To date, there’s been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitoes, the World Health Organization says.

That’s because the novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

So instead of worrying about little pests, health officials say the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and maintain physical distancing from others.

READ MORE: B.C.’s ‘mosquito guy’ says dry spring could mean fewer pesky biters


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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