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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
'No malaria risk' from mosquitoes
There has been a rise in people seeking advice for bites
Health experts have reassured people that although there are more mosquitoes in the UK this summer, they do not pose any health risks.

Dr Martin Donnelley, from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, has been working with Wirral students to find out where the insects are breeding.

But he said people need not worry about contracting diseases such as malaria.

The comments come after NHS Direct reported a 28% increase in the number of people seeking advice for bites.

Dr Donnelley said: "I think we can all sleep safely.

"There is no actual malaria transmitted in the UK to date and hasn't been for about 100 years.

Students studying mosquitoes in Wirral
Sixth form students have worked with health experts

"We don't actually have anyone with malaria and the mosquito requires contact with an infected person for them to be able to transmit it."

Dr Donnelley has been working with sixth form students from Neston High School.

The group set 20 traps in their local area to find out exactly what and where the insects were.

The insects have been a particular problem at Neston and Parkgate, where they are attracted by the nearby salt marshes which are an ideal breeding ground.

Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council's Environmental Protection Unit have said they will act on the findings.

The council will spray the marsh twice a year with a larvaecide, similar to a mosquito spray, to control their numbers.

The NHS said unusually high rainfall and hot weather has created an ideal environment for mosquitoes to thrive this year.

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