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Don't swat mosquitoes, researchers say

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DENVER, Jul 19, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. doctors warn that people should not swat mosquitoes against their skin because doing so could increase the risk of serious infection.

The advice follows the case of a 57-year-old woman who died after developing a fungal infection in her muscles. Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she might have developed the infection after swatting a mosquito, causing part of the insect to penetrate and infect her skin.

The woman developed a fungal infection called Brachiola algerae, which puzzled doctors because it was thought to be found only in mosquitoes and other insects.

Unlike malaria or West Nile Virus, it is not found in mosquito saliva so doctors were able to rule out a bite as the cause of the infection. Instead, they concluded that the woman, who died in 2002, probably had developed the infection after smearing the insect into a bite.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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