TAMPA - The woman who died earlier this month from Eastern equine encephalitis is the first human case of the mosquito-borne disease in Hillsborough County since 1964 and the first death in the U.S. since 2008.
In reaction to the death and positive tests for other diseases such as West Nile Virus, the county increased mosquito control efforts in northwest Hillsborough, where the woman lived, said Donny Hayes, general manager of Hillsborough County Mosquito Control.
Trucks sprayed the area Friday night, and Tuesday morning an aircraft sprayed in an attempt to kill the female mosquitoes that carry the virus.
The county plans another round of aerial spraying in northwest Hillsborough early Thursday morning.
Crews also stepped up daytime spraying of stagnant water where the mosquito larvae live and increased trapping efforts to discover the extent of the mosquito population, Hayes said.
The woman's death from the rare but highly lethal virus comes amid signs mosquito-borne diseases are possibly more prevalent in Hillsborough County than in the past few years.
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