Malaria-infected mosquitoes found on Montgomery island

October 16, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Malaria-infected mosquitoes have been found on an uninhabited Montgomery County island in the Potomac River that is a state wildlife refuge, the second time this month that infected mosquitoes have been found on an uninhabited county island.

Montgomery County health officials said the mosquitoes were discovered in one of 10 traps on Van Deventer Island, a small tract just south of the site on Selden Island where malaria-infected mosquitoes were discovered last week.

Lynn Frank, chief of public health services for Montgomery County, said the mosquitoes were trapped Thursday and tested Friday by researchers from the Bethesda-based Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Frank said she hopes to meet Friday with state officials to plan aerial spraying of both islands. She said a date for spraying may be determined by weather conditions.

Federal researchers began trapping mosquitoes along the Potomac River after two teen-agers in nearby Loudon County, Va. were diagnosed with malaria in mid-August and malaria-infected mosquitoes were found in the Virginia suburbs. The teens have recovered.

Health officials in Virginia are awaiting results of blood tests performed last week to determine whether 31 workers who cut grasses raised on Selden Island were infected. Van Deventer Island is managed by the state Department of Natural Resources and no one worked there, Frank said.

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