County health officials said Thursday they plan to start a special mosquito eradication program in parts of Oceanside after a report last week that a migrant farm worker had malaria.
Indications are that the farm worker, who has recovered, was infected with the disease outside the county, but officials want to take extra precautions here and have begun fogging sections of northeast Oceanside.
“We are taking this action because traps, which we set immediately after the case was reported, caught a sufficient number of the mosquitoes capable of carrying the disease,” said Larry Aker, the county’s assistant deputy director for environmental health services.
Aker said that, because only one of the 24 mosquito species in the county is capable of carrying the disease, “it is unlikely that a person bitten by a mosquito would come down with malaria.”
The unidentified farm worker had been sleeping outside near the San Luis Rey River and had worked in other counties before coming to the Oceanside area, said county health services spokeswoman Elaine Schmidt.
The symptoms of malaria include high fever and chills.
Moise Mizrahi, chief of the county’s vector control division, said the case is “not an outbreak” of malaria.
The northeastern areas of Oceanside are scheduled to be fogged through Saturday with insecticide that is considered harmless to humans, though some people may have allergic reactions, county officials said.
People in the area are advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially at night when mosquitoes are most active, to avoid getting bitten.