CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One really disturbing thing about the coronavirus outbreak is all the misinformation that has been floating around, including how the virus can be transmitted.
For example, it has been suggested that mosquitoes can carry it. 3News decided to look into that claim, and there's one expert we turn to in the highly specialized field of infectious diseases.
"We know how this virus is transmitted," said Dr. Jaime Fergie, infectious disease specialist at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Fergie constantly monitors the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control.
"We know for sure this a virus. The virus is a respiratory virus that is not transmitted by mosquitoes," Fergie said. "There are other viruses, totally different, that can be transmitted by mosquitoes -- the West Nile virus, for example -- not many many other ones. But not this one."
Fergie explained COVID-19 is in the same family of coronaviruses as the flu, with similar symptoms in some respect, but very different potential outcomes.
"Most people who get it get just a common cold, minimal symptoms," Fergie said. "The people who really get sick are those who are in their 70s or 80s and have underlying conditions. Heart disease, pulmonary problems, kidney problems. Some severe underlying illnesses."
When it comes to mosquito-borne diseases, we do have some good news on that front. The City's Vector Control is already waging war against those pesky bugs with close to 50 traps already set to monitor them.
"Number one, we monitor pest mosquito counts, and that helps us determine when we need to start spraying if we don't know," said Mike Gillis with Vector Control Services. "The other type of trap will attract the species of mosquitoes which are known to carry vector-borne diseases like West Nile."
Even better news from Vector Control -- for the last four years, tests of mosquitoes caught in the traps have shown no evidence of West Nile. Hopes are that 2020 will have similar results.
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