BRANDON — A twin-engine plane sprayed pesticides early Friday morning over a large residential area to combat the mosquito-borne virus that killed two people in Hillsborough County this month.
Health officials announced Thursday that a Brandon-area infant died of eastern equine encephalitis, prompting a public health alert and mosquito spraying around the Tampa Bay area.
The plane sprayed a nearly transparent mist of pesticides for nearly two hours over Brandon and Valrico beginning around 5:30 a.m.
The plane flew a grid bounded to the east by Forbes Road, to the south by Bloomingdale Avenue, to the west by Parsons Avenue and to the north by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Three people have died of EEE in Florida this month. There is no vaccine for the disease.
Officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Here's how:
• Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn, the peak activity times for many mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that transmit EEE infections are mostly night biters.
• Wear clothing that covers your skin.
• Use mosquito repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other options.
• Check the drainage around your home. Get rid of standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
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