An Oceanside resident who has contracted malaria probably was infected locally by a mosquito bite, county health officials said Thursday.

The person, who lives near San Luis Rey River, had not traveled outside San Diego County recently, leading county health officials to conclude that a mosquito was the probable source of his infection.

Besides surveying the area for any other possible cases, county officials also set mosquito traps along the riverbed and also plan to spray the area through Saturday night to kill adult mosquitoes.

Noting that only one of the 24 mosquito species known to occupy the county is capable of carrying malaria, health officials emphasized that the chances of getting the disease through a mosquito bite are slim. Nevertheless, people who live near the riverbed should take precautions such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants or using mosquito repellents, they added.

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