Is Coronavirus Transmitted by Pests

April 26, 2021

It seems we are always hearing of some new highly contagious, devastating, insect-borne virus that threatens our lives and livelihoods. When reports of just how fast COVID-19 was spreading and how quickly it was infecting populations around the world, there was some initial concern about other carriers being able to pass it on to humans. Many diseases that can sicken and even kill humans are transmitted by insects and other animals.

 

Limited Transmission Methods forCOVID-19

Fortunately, the experts who have been studying the virus say that there still is no data that exists to suggestCovid-19 can be transmitted by common insect carriers such as mosquitoes or ticks. “Although highly contagious, Covid-19 does not appear to be spread through blood like some other communicable illnesses,” said OMRF immunologist Eliza Chakravarty, M.D. “And it’s the blood-borne transmission that allows insects to transmit diseases like West Nile and Lyme. Because COVID-19 is airborne, it means that it is less likely to have transmission methods outside direct contact and droplet inhalation

 

Is Coronavirus Transmitted by Pests?

Vector pests are those that spread diseases from human to human, such as ticks and mosquitoes, and fleas. These are the most common insect vectors that carry diseases and that can take a disease from an animal like a bat or a monkey or a rat and pass it on to a human. These insect spreaders are known to play significant roles in the transmission of many critical diseases. Worldwide, “mosquitoes are the leading vectors responsible for the transmission of infections to humans, and are responsible for spreading malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), chikungunya, yellow fever and many more. Ticks are responsible for the transmission of the most common vector-borne infection in the United States, Lyme disease, as well as many other infections such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis” (Pest World).

 

Understanding COVID-19 Transmission

COVID-19 belongs to a family of respiratory illnesses that are collectively known as coronaviruses and include SARS and MERS among others. These illnesses are spread from person to person through tiny viral droplets, which become air borne when an infected person coughs, sneezes, yells, or talks.  COVID-19 is known to spread predominately in this manner so you can easily become infected if you are in close proximity to someone with the virus who is coughing, sneezing, or yelling and you end up breathing in those contaminated droplets. Additionally, the virus also has been shown to survive for significant periods of time on some surfaces. This means that if you touch a doorknob, table, cellphone, touchpad, or another high-contact surface, you could pick up the virus on your hands and then get infected when you touch your mouth, face, nose, or eyes. While much still remains unknown about the details of COVID-19 and its spread and impact on the human body, there is no biological evidence to suggest transmission through insects is a threat as it is not a blood-borne illness and insects cannot spread illnesses via touch alone.

 

Reducing Unknown Factors
While it may be true that COVID-19 cannot be easily transmitted by common pests such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and there is no evidence that indicates the virus can be spread by other pests like mice, roaches, spiders, flies, or ants it is understandable that many people would rather be safe than sorry. This is why keeping up with general pest control practices for your home and business are key to keeping you, your family, and your employees safe and healthy during this time. While it is good that there is no evidence for pest-vector spread for COVID-19, that may not always be the case. Viruses are known for mutating and changing and this can cause new modes of transmission to develop for viruses. One of the biggest fears is thatCOVID-19 will mutate and be able to move from insect vectors to humans like many other illnesses. So, being prepared for possible mutations and new vectors, and keeping your home and business pest-free, is a great way to add another layer of protection against the virus.

 

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Is Covid-19 transmitted by pests? This is a question that has to be answered during these trying times. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and to see how we can help add another layer of protection against COVID-19 for you and your family!

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