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Are mosquitoes carrying COVID-19? Experts weigh in

A lot of people are asking whether mosquitoes carry the coronavirus. Is there any danger of being infected by a mosquito bite?

INDIANAPOLIS — If the coronavirus isn't scary enough, billions of mosquitoes are invading parks, playgrounds and backyards in Indiana.

Health departments across the state are working to get them under control.

A lot of people are asking whether mosquitoes carry the coronavirus, if there is any danger of being infected by a mosquito bite.

Vildana Morgan arrived at Holiday Park with her young stepdaughters Tuesday.

"I don’t want to get sick. I don't want to go to the hospital," she said.

There is good news for Morgan and other families who like to work and play outside.

The fear is understandable. Mosquitoes carry a host of diseases, like malaria, and the West Nile and Zika viruses.

But not COVID-19.

The World Health Organization said, in capital letters, the new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Thomas Duszynski, an epidemiologist with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of public health explained why. 

"It is really tough for viruses to survive in the mosquito gut and then replicate enough to transmit to the next human it bites," Duszynski explained. "This is true with other viruses, like HIV cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes and we are seeing no evidence that COVID can be either."

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COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, spread mostly by coughs and sneezes. 

Public health officials are concerned by increasing numbers of people abandoning their protective face masks.

Barb Lemen was only one of the two park visitors 13News saw wearing a face mask Tuesday.

"I still want to be cautious. I'm a little concerned," Lemen said. "The numbers are going back up. They are having resurgences in the areas that have opened up again. I want to be careful."

Elexis Hamilton doesn't believe masks work.

"I feel like I'm suffocating, so I'm not wearing it," she said.

Frustrated health experts insist masks are necessary. They prevent people who may not know they are infected COVID-19 from spreading the virus.

"It definitely slows transmission down," Duszynski said. "It keeps those who are infected from transmitting to other people who are susceptible."

Those people could be strangers or loved ones.