Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough confirms case of rare mosquito-borne illness, EEE

A mosquito bite spread Eastern equine encephalitis in Hillsborough County earlier this month.

Associated Press

A mosquito bite spread Eastern equine encephalitis in Hillsborough County earlier this month.

TAMPA — Hillsborough health officials are warning the public to be vigilant about mosquito bites after confirming an extremely rare human case of Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation of the brain.

The unidentified victim acquired EEE in the northwestern part of Hillsborough County earlier this month and is recovering, the Florida Department of Health announced in a news release.

The last human case of locally acquired EEE in Hillsborough was in August 2010.

"We are thankful that this individual is recovering, and doing well," said Douglas Holt, director of the Hillsborough County Health Department. "While it's unusual that we see a case of EEE so early in the year, it's not that surprising given that we've had a very mild winter locally."

Mosquito-borne illness advisories are declared when human cases of locally acquired disease have been confirmed, or when evidence of intense virus transmission has been detected among animals.

Eastern equine encephalitis is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. Nationally, between five and 10 cases of the potentially fatal illness are reported each year.

EEE is not contagious among people; it can only be transmitted through a mosquito. Symptoms may include fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and coma, according to Amanda Pullman, an epidemiologist with the Hillsborough health department.

.fast facts

Tips for staying safe:

• Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

• Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that could be used as breeding areas.

• Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Cover boats with tarps.

• Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

• Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.

• Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are most effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.

Source: Hillsborough County Health Department

Hillsborough confirms case of rare mosquito-borne illness, EEE 03/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Scaramucci publicly airs grievances at White House

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of staff to deny he's a "leaker" and exposing West Wing backstabbing in language more suitable to a mobster movie than a …

    Chief of staff Reince Priebus was called a “paranoid schizo?phrenic.”
  2. Crist votes for measure that includes money for Trump's wall

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Charlie Crist was for it and against it.

  3. Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday in the death of Yasmine L. Tyson on Monday night.

    Christopher Lee Carithers, 37, of Tampa
  4. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

    A $900,000 DOT grant will finance two more trolleys, a longer route and longer service hours.
  5. Latest sewage crisis fallout: Higher utility bills in St. Pete

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — For months the cost of the city's sewage crisis has been measured in terms of environmental damage, legal ramifications and political repercussions.

    Now residents are about to get the bill.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage during the height of the city's sewage crisis. Now the City Council is considering how much to raise utility rates to pay the $326 million bill to fix St. Petersburg's sewage system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]