Have you been wondering about mosquitoes and the role they play in vectoring diseases, especially coronavirus/COVID-19? Well, they happen to take the dubious title of the deadliest animal on the planet, because of their ability to transmit many diseases. But, COVID-19 is NOT one of those diseases.
Mosquito Statistics at a Glance
Worldwide, some 750,000 to 1.2 million people die each year due to mosquito-transmitted diseases. To give an example, malaria is the top vector-borne disease of mosquitoes in both infection and deaths. According to UNICEF, 300-600 million people suffer from malaria each year, and it remains one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of 5 years old1.
According the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus (and, by extension, COVID-19) cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites2. There has been no information or evidence to suggest this disease can be transmitted by mosquitoes.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
However, mosquitoes can vector many serious and deadly diseases. So, protecting yourself from their bite is always good practice. Florida is a beautiful state with amazing natural resources, but mosquitoes are an insect we should always be aware of when we are outside enjoying nature at its finest.
The 5 Ds
While outside, be sure to protect yourself by following the “5 Ds”:
- Dusk and Dawn: many mosquito species that vector diseases are active from dusk to dawn so protect yourself
- Drain: drain all standing water weekly from around your home to eliminate mosquito breeding sites
- Dress: dress in light colored, lose fitting, long sleeves and pants (cover your skin!)
- Defend yourself: when outside, use EPA approved insect repellents such as DEET, Picaridin, IR-3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Always remember to read the label before use!
- World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: MythBusters
- American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA): Can Mosquitoes Transmit the Coronavirus?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): How it Spreads
- Sarasota County Government: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- Florida Department of Health – Sarasota County