CLEVELAND — As the number of coronavirus cases in Northeast Ohio continues to increase, we have been trying to answer as many of your questions as we can in our "Health Hub" segments with respected medical experts.

3News' Betsy Kling recently spoke with Dr. Tara C. Smith, a Professor of Epidemiology at Kent State University. We'll be posting the full conversation in a short time, but we did ask her one question that we've been getting A LOT: Can you contract the virus if you are bitten by a mosquito?

This theory really hasn't been tested yet, but according to Smith, it's highly unlikely. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that can replicate in your nose, throat, and lungs. That's in contrast to the blood viruses mosquitoes frequently carry.

"They bite you [and] take a blood meal," Smith said. "As part of that, the virus (or in some cases a parasite like malaria) is what gets transmitted."

Dr. Heidi Gullet with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health agrees.

"At this point, it appears to be person-to-person spread through airborne," Dr. Gullet explained to Monica Robins. "Those would be on surfaces or droplets that we spread with each other through respiratory secretion. At this point we don’t feel this is vector-borne through a mosquito."

For that reason, keep practicing that key advice of washing your hands.

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