Can Mosquitos Transmit COVID-19? And Other Questions For Local Physicians

Local physician Dr. Paul Kilgore addresses how you should handle quarantine when in recovery, how to go grocery shopping and what seasonal change will mean for COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted by mosquitos? 

I’m sick, when I will be allowed to return to normal life?

Should I wear a mask when grocery shopping?

Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson has been hosting hour-long specials on 101.9 WDET where local physicians answers listener questions on COVID-19. 

For this special, Dr. Paul Kilgore answered questions from tweets, email and call-ins. 

Click on the player above to hear Dr. Kilgore answer listener questions on COVID-19, and read some select answers, edited for length and clarity, below.

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Asked and Answered

Can mosquitoes transmit this disease?

We have no evidence that there is any transmission through a mosquito or other insects. The major route is respiratory droplet spread or contact on a contaminated surface.

Will the spread of the novel coronavirus slow down in the warmer months?

There’s some data for coronavirus transmission and seasonal patterns, but most of it is limited. We know to some extent in the cooler, drier months, some viruses may go further. There’s other viruses we know that have other seasonal patterns. So there is a chance that we could see transmission in warmer months.

Once a patient recovers, can they still pass it on? How do you clean the house? 

We know the virus can be shed even when the patient has recovered clinically. During that recuperation period, people can shed virus into the environment. One is through fecal contamination. The other is respiratory droplets. Great hand hygiene is important. Regular cleaning of surfaces. Making sure all the surfaces the food is prepared are washed down with disinfectant. In the ideal setting, we’d like to be able to test people as they recover. When people are at home, recovering, and wondering when to go back to work, the biggest thing is get a test done. If you can’t, because the illness takes 1 or 2 weeks to recover, I would add another 2 weeks after that.

What is your advice for someone who has recently started experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?

Make sure you document the symptoms you’re experiencing. If you have a thermometer, measure your temperature multiple times a day. That information can be communicated to your healthcare provider, that helps them understand what you’re experiencing.Patients are likely to wax and wane in their symptoms. That makes people anxious and worried. If that happens, that’s a really important time to get in touch with your healthcare provider. If things are changing, that’s when you should go into the emergency department. This sickness can advance quickly. 

How long does the virus last on refrigerated items? 

We don’t know if the SARS coronavirus can be killed by cold or low temperatures. We know other viruses can be made inactive, but these are at temperatures lower than a home fridge.

Right now, the consensus would be it does not. When you bring home groceries, you can wipe down the outer packaging of the container and let it air dry, before you put it in the refrigerator. If the food is in a container where you can unpackage it and put it in a container than you know it’s clean, that’s another way to reduce the possibility of cross contamination. Make sure you do you diligent hand washing. Throw away your plastic bags. 

Should I wear a mask when grocery shopping?

You don’t have to wear it. This is a really important time to make sure our healthcare workers have the masks that they need. Having said that, if you are any kind of immunosuppressed patient or you have another high-risk condition, I think that could be a reason to justify wearing the mask.


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