Is SARS-CoV-2, the Virus That Causes COVID-19, Transmitted by Mosquitoes? Here’s What Scientists Found
A new study by Kansas State University researchers is the first to confirm that SARS-CoV-2 cannot be transmitted to people by mosquitoes.
Stephen Higgs, associate vice president for research and director of the university’s Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, together with colleagues from the BRI and the College of Veterinary Medicine had the findings published July 17 by Nature Scientific Reports.
The article, “SARS-CoV-2 failure to infect or replicate in mosquitoes: an extreme challenge,” details the study’s findings, which provide the first experimental investigation on the capacity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, to infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes.
“While the World Health Organization has definitively stated that mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus, our study is the first to provide conclusive data supporting the theory,” said Higgs, Peine professor of biosecurity and university distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.
The study, which was done at the BRI, a biosafety level-3 facility, ultimately found that the virus is unable to replicate in three common and widely distributed species of mosquitoes — Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus — and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.
“I am proud of the work we are doing at K-State to learn as much as we can about this and other dangerous pathogens,” said Higgs. “This work was possible because of the unique capabilities of the BRI and the dedicated BRI and institutional staff.”
Colleagues involved with the study include Yan-Jang Huang, research assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; Dana Vanlandingham, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; Ashley Bilyeu and Haelea Sharp, research assistants in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology; and Susan Hettenbach, research assistant at the BRI.
Researchers at the BRI have completed four additional studies on COVID-19 since March and this is the first peer-reviewed publication based on SARS-CoV-2 experiments wholly conducted at K-State.
Research at the Biosecurity Research Institute has been ongoing with other animal pathogens that can be transmitted from animals to people, including Rift Valley fever and Japanese encephalitis, as well as diseases that could devastate America’s food supply, such as African swine fever and classical swine fever. The research was in part supported by the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Transition Fund provided by the state of Kansas.
“We have remarkable talent and capabilities working within our research and training facility at the BRI,” said Peter Dorhout, K-State vice president for research. “The BRI is one of the critical anchor facilities in the North Campus Corridor, which serves as our growing research and development space for private sector and government agency partnerships with K-State.”
Reference: “SARS-CoV-2 failure to infect or replicate in mosquitoes: an extreme challenge” by Yan-Jang S. Huang, Dana L. Vanlandingham, Ashley N. Bilyeu, Haelea M. Sharp, Susan M. Hettenbach and Stephen Higgs, 17 July 2020, Scientific Reports.
40-Year-Old Pharmacist Dies While Having Sεx With A Prostitute In Lagos Brothel.
A 40-year-old Pharmacist, Bassey Asuquo has died while having s*x with a prostitute in a brothel along Akesan road, Egan area of Lagos State .
The lifeless body of the pharmacist was found on Friday after visiting the brothel at about 10pm the previous night with a s*x worker.
It was gathered that policemen from Igando division were alerted by the management of the brothel, after a crowd had gathered to have a glimpse of Bassey’s lifeless body.
When police stormed the scene, a packet of cigarette, an inhaler and a stained boxer were found in the room while the commercial s*x worker had escaped.
According to reports, the fleeing commercial s*x worker had contacted the hotel manager on phone, explaining how late Bassey was gasping for breath and attempted to reach out for his inhaler when he gave up the ghost.
Attempt to lure her back to explain further, failed as she reportedly told the manager on the phone that she was about crossing the nation’s border, in her bid to evade arrest.
We learnt that the police arrested two staff of the brothel and evacuated the corpse. The family of the deceased are making efforts to retrieve the corpse for burial.
We must develop, modernize Blood Transfusion Service in Nigeria says Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
FMOH Press Release,
7th August, 2020
The Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire has restated the need for a modernized blood transfusion service in Nigeria stating that “the importance of blood transfusion service in the health system of a country is not something that we need to emphasize again”, in our country here, apart from a very high mortality rate, a large portion of which is very high, is ascribed to blood loss.”
The Minister of Health, made this statement when a visiting team from the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) led by its National Coordinator, Dr. Joseph Amedu paid him a courtesy visit to update him on the progress and challenges faced by the NBTS.
The Minister said “with a high portion of mortality rate in Nigeria, ascribed to blood loss especially around delivery – postpartum haemorrhage with large amount of blood required for routine surgery, accidents, in trauma cases, chronic diseases like sickle cell anaemia which has a high prevalence in Nigeria, justify very well the need for the modernization and creation of a Blood Service Commission.”
He further highlighted the importance, potentials and benefits of the Blood Service Commission to include; fulfilling all the needs of the country in the areas mentioned, the idea of having One million strategic blood reserve for the country, sighting the explosion that rocked Lebanon with a large number of people requiring blood transfusion, in a case where one is faced with such, with a reserve you have somewhere you reach into to take care of mass catastrophe and disasters, he said is a “good idea.”
The Minister also spoke of commercializing the blood service industry, “with a huge population of 200 million with majority young people, which is a pool of donors more than Europe’s. We have the materials right here, the masses. With a global high demand for blood products, parts and proper blood fractionation, the Commission will not only be self sustaining but highly revenue generating, this is a goldmine if explored”, he stated.
Dr. Ehanire said that the Ministry has noted the challenges faced by the NBTS, and will set up an appointment for the team to speak with the Joint Health Committees on Health of the National Assembly who are responsible for appropriation to have the opportunity to put forward the thoughts and vision of the NBTS Team to enable the NASS members join in appreciating the value of blood transfusion service and blood transfusion development in Nigeria which is also the vision of the President. He advised the team to articulate its thoughts into a document to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
He noted the huge potential of blood transfusion service and is happy that the team has been able to articulate everything and put it on the table and let those who have the technology come up with suggestions and partnership, because “Government, the Minister said will not have all the money; the idea of private partnership is highly recommended and welcomed. With South Africa being the most advanced country in Africa when it comes to transfusion science at the moment, a visit to learn from them will be worthwhile to know how it is organized and how to streamline blood testing and increase the parameters that are tested, to add more parameters.”
Earlier, National Coordinator informed the Minister of the NBTS proposal of a bill for a Commission which was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2018. He disclosed that this has just gone through public hearing on the 23rd of July, 2020 and awaiting passage by the 9th National Assembly. He highlighted some of the progress made so far by the NBTS to include re-establishing relationships with partners and stakeholders for effectiveness and efficiency, with the NBTS prepared for active advocacy, enlightenment and sensitization to communities and Nigerians on the importance and need for voluntary non-remunerated blood donation, while working on different strategies to attract and convince donors even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He further said that the re-organization of the administrative and functional structures, to pave way for carrying out its mandate, concentrating energy and resources on having functional zonal centres, letting States take over their centres and those without, to establish one, while providing technical support to them. He added that while awaiting the passage of the bill, they have started discussions with partners and the private sector for investors to indicate interest in the move to commence the commercialization through production of blood components and plasma derivative medicinal products.
Not leaving out some of the challenges faced to include; lack of enabling legislation required to carry out regulatory function on blood safety practices, though it is being addressed, he said, lack of adequate office accommodation, lack of sufficient funds for the NBTS’ operational activities, late release of budgetary appropriation for program implementation during the period under review resulting to low blood collection and late implementation and execution of scheduled activities; low public awareness and deep cultural myths and misconceptions on voluntary blood donation by the public were some of the challenges he listed.
The National Coordinator of NBTS also listed insufficient and outdated laboratory screening equipment which he said is hindering quality screening processes nationwide; continued insurgency and security challenges experienced across the country, which has greatly reduced blood collection activities in the affected zones, among others.
Dr. Joseph Amedu further appealed for financial intervention from the Ministry of Finance through the Office of the Honourable Minister of Health to enable the Service move forward “because the annual budget envelope may not be very reliable”. He also requested that the Minister gives NBSC a special consideration during the bilateral budget discussion with the Budget Office for 2021 appropriation.
The NBTS is charged with the responsibility of providing safe, quality blood and blood products for transfusion in a cost-effective manner to all who may require it in Nigeria.
For: The Director, Information, Media & Public Relations,
Aisha Buhari seriously ill, flown to Dubai for medical treatments
The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has been flown to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for medical treatment over a neck pain.
It was gathered that the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari travelled out of the country recently due to persistent neck pain after returning to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, from Lagos.
The first lady was said to have undergone self-isolation for 14 days after the Lagos trip because of the neck pain that refused to stop for close to one month after the condolence journey.
The frightening scenario shortly after the self-isolation safety protocol was said to have prompted the decision to move her to Dubai for immediate medical attention.
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