- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

A teenage girl has contracted malaria in Loudoun County, which is being monitored for disease-carrying mosquitoes, county health officials said yesterday.
The girl, whose identity has not been released, lives in the South Riding community in the eastern part of the county. She was the third teenager to contract malaria in Loudoun since August, when a 19-year-old woman and 15-year-old boy were diagnosed with the disease.
The girl began exhibiting malaria symptoms around March 12 and was responding to treatment.
Health officials said she had spent much of last summer in the same communities where the other two teens were infected and remembered suffering many mosquito bites.
The other two teens recovered after responding to treatment last summer. They had been bitten near their homes by mosquitoes that health officials said probably had bitten others who contracted malaria overseas.
The anopheles mosquitoes, which carry malaria, almost never fly more than two miles in their relatively short lifetimes, entomologists say.
Each year, Virginia has about 60 reported cases of malaria about a third of which originate in Northern Virginia.
Health officials say the strain of malaria found in mosquitoes near the Potomac River triggers an unpleasant but easily treatable form of the disease. More virulent strains of malaria kill millions of people in the developing world each year.
County officials had not found any malaria-carrying mosquitoes that survived the winter.
Continued surveillance is planned, and county officials are asking residents to eliminate any standing water that could serve as a mosquito breeding ground.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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