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Anti-Malaria Spray of Planes Recommended

August 27, 2000|MAGGIE FARLEY, Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Passport? Check. Plane tickets? Check. Bug spray?

It's hardly an epidemic, but the World Health Organization is warning that "jet-setting" mosquitoes are carrying malaria into decidedly nontropical areas such as France, Belgium and Switzerland. The WHO is urging airlines departing areas where malaria is prevalent to spray aircraft interiors with insecticide just before passengers board or before takeoff.

Since 1987, there have been at least 54 cases of malaria near airports among residents who had not traveled to malaria-infected regions, the WHO reported in its August bulletin. Paris and Brussels top the list of affected cities because of the large number of flights arriving from central and western Africa. "Airport malaria" tends to take longer to diagnose because doctors have little reason to suspect it, the report added.

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